WHO HAS GOT WHERE?; Deregulation in Europe - an overview

Tabulated overview of deregulation status in the 15 member countries of the European Union.

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Austria-----No deregulation. Proposals made in October 1995 for a grid company to be owned by the federal Verbund utility and the regionals. The Verbund and the regionals would become Single Buyers which could buy imported electricity to supply the new grid company. Austria seems to be searching for a competition model which allows as much as possible of the old structures to be maintained

Belgium-----Waiting for deregulation at EU level. Squeezed between the electricity majors France and Germany, liberalisation is a considerable cause of concern for Belgium

Denmark-----No deregulation as yet. Energy ministry presented a first draft for legislation in March. This stipulates that the two utility groupings, Elkraft and Elsam, will lose their monopoly over importing electricity; distributors and the very largest of industrial consumers will be able to import electricity on their own account. Also of interest, the draft says the costs of government policy on renewables are to be added to the grid costs for electricity transmission. Elsam recommends liberalisation within two to five years

England & Wales----Deregulated in 1990. Phased in privatisation 1990-1993 with nuclear to follow in 1996. Competition in generation. Independent grid. Competition in supply of customers over 1 MW. Independent regulator. Electricity pool and bilateral contracts

Finland-----Deregulated 1.7.1995. Competition down to smallest customers after a transition period. No independent grid company, one state-owned utility still controls two thirds of grid. Electricity pool June 1996

France-----Is seeking a controlled opening of the internal market for electricity to allow large industrial companies to buy power from foreign or independent suppliers. The government maintains a monopoly is necessary. France favours single buyer system where state owned utility EdF is the single buyer. Distributors not to compete for customers

Germany-----The economy ministry proposed legislation to deregulate in 1994. This has been updated and is now being examined by the parliamentary economic committee. The ministry plans to get rid of monopoly supply areas and introduce a system of negotiated third party access. German utilities are worried about opening their markets to France if no reciprocal arrangements exist

Greece-----Limited deregulation. Under legislation introduced in 1994, state utility PPC is obliged to take electricity from privately operated wind or solar stations at set rates. Privatisation of PPC does not seem to be an issue. The utility is concerned mainly with increasing its power generation capacity

Holland-----According to December 1995 policy paper, 35% of the electricity market is to be privatised within five years. Consumers using more than 10 GWh/year will choose their supplier, expanding to those with consumption of 50 MWh/year within five years. The grid will stay with SEP, the central electricity board. Large scale consumers complain there are too few guarantees that new suppliers will have access to the national grid under the same conditions as the SEP generators and distributors

Ireland-----Government approved last year a proposal introducing competition from 1996 in generation and supply to 1 MW plus customers. A regulator is proposed. No independent grid company -- this will continue to be owned and controlled by the state Electricity Supply Board. ESB will also act as a Single Buyer

Italy-----In March 1995 rules for competition in public service utilities and for creating appropriate regulatory authorities were approved by the Senate. However, legislation for creating a regulatory authority has not been finalised and the privatisation of Italy's single major utility, ENEL, remains extremely controversial

Norway-----Deregulated 1.1.1991. Competition in generation. Independent grid. Competition down to smallest customers. Privatisation to start soon. Electricity pool, the Statnett Marked

Portugal-----State-owned utility EdP separated into 19 units in 1994 in preparation for privatisation. These included the generating sector CPPE, the grid company Rede Electrica Nacional and four regionals. Privatisation initially of just 20-25% in 1996. This will create a framework balanced between state control and liberalisation believed to be unique in Europe. It consists of a state owned sector, the Public Electricty Service (EdP satellites), and an Independent Electricity System for independent generators with third party access to the grid. An independent regulator will be created

Spain-----In 1996 regulations are to be drawn up to permit operation of independent generation and supply systems as stipulated in law passed in December 1994. A regulatory body will be set up. The 1994 law also requires utilities to unbundle generation and distribution. Independent generators will be allowed to supply clients through a contract system, but the 65% state-owned Endesa will be continued with its planning, unified management, energy integration and single tariff. Red Electrica Espanola, the high tension grid company, will be opened for long term contracts with independent generators but will retain its monopoly on spot market business

Sweden-----Deregulated on 1.1.1996. Competition down to smallest customers. Common electricty market with Norway since 1.1.1996-----

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