A single regulatory framework governing EU-Contracting Party interconnection points key to remedy insufficient market integration, highlights Energy Community Gas Forum 2021

23 September 2021

Taking place on 22-23 September, the Energy Community Gas Forum returned to an in-person event, with more than 150 participants joining physically or online. Participants debated the energy sectors in transition and the decarbonisation process, which is changing economies and societies within the Energy Community.

The Forum examined how the Contracting Parties could achieve a decarbonised economy, taking into account the realities on the ground and affordability, especially in the context of rising energy prices.

The Forum also debated the track record of the Contracting Parties in implementing the gas acquis, as a precondition for embarking on the proper path towards decarbonisation and tackling future challenges linked to affordability and accessibility of low carbon and renewable gases, including hydrogen, in the gas networks. The timely engagement of the Contracting Parties in combating methane leakage was particularly praised.

In his opening remarks, Director Kopač stressed: “Gas market reform in the Energy Community Contracting Parties is moving somewhat slowly but steadily in the right direction. The more the EU Member States and the Contracting Parties align their regulatory frameworks, in particular in implementing network codes, the more the positive effects of future EU decarbonised gas markets will spill-over to the Energy Community.”

Gas Forum participants were the first to learn about the outcomes of the public consultation on obstacles to efficient capacity usage and availability at EU – Contracting Party interconnection points conducted this year jointly by ACER and the Secretariat. The results of the consultation confirmed that alignment of the regulatory framework at interconnection points and measures to reduce incumbent dominance in Contracting Parties’ markets are remedies to present insufficient market integration.