On 23 September, EU4Energy Governance hosted online a high-level policy discussion and technical meeting to take stock of the current status and to facilitate the implementation of the Law on Energy and Water Supply and related legal acts and market reforms. The event participants heard interventions from Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development David Tvalabeishvili, Director of the Energy Community Secretariat Janez Kopač, representatives of the EU Delegation to Georgia, the Georgian National Energy and Water Supply Regulatory Commission, the Georgian Oil and Gas Corporation, the Georgian Gas Transportation Company and the Georgian Energy Exchange.
With the adoption of the Law on Energy and Water Supply in December 2019, a clear path towards the development of the energy sector in line with European principles was set, outlining the specific requirements for the development of a competitive energy market. A number of secondary legal acts, which should put market principles envisaged under the law into practice, are yet to be adopted.
In the gas sector, the most important next steps are the approval of the natural gas market concept design by the Government in October 2020, followed by the adoption of natural gas market rules next year. In parallel, the gas incumbent GOGC and distribution companies have to unbundle. An unbundling plan should be presented to the Ministry by the end of 2020, according to the law, and the entire unbundling and certification procedure shall be finalized by the end of 2021, thus ensuring free and transparent third party access to the network. New suppliers entering the Georgian market and competing with existing market participants will improve the quality of service for customers and positively impact price dynamics.
Director Janez Kopač reiterated the importance of speeding up the unbundling process and expressed hopes that the reforms in the area of gas will be implemented with the same high level of commitment by the Georgian authorities, in a timely and proper manner.
* The EU4Energy Initiative covers all EU support to improve energy supply, security and connectivity, as well as to promote energy efficiency and the use of renewables in the Eastern Partner countries Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. It does this by financing projects and programmes that help to reform energy markets and to reduce national energy dependence and consumption. Over the longer term, this makes energy supply more reliable, transparent and affordable, thus reducing energy poverty and energy bills for both citizens and the private sector.