The energy sector is currently facing a major transformation which implies multiple challenges, such as price surge and security of supply concerns and increasing energy poverty as well as many opportunities like digitalisation in light of the Clean Energy Package, as well as the transformation of heating and energy generation to meet decarbonisation goals. These themes were addressed at the workshop jointly organised by the Council of European Energy Regulators (CEER), the Energy Community Regulatory Board (ECRB) and the Association of Mediterranean Energy Regulators (MEDREG) on 15 June 2022 in Vienna.
The workshop aimed at maximising the exchange of best practices and experiences, as well as promote convergence of regulatory practices across the three regions in these sensitive issues.The current geopolitical context, coupled with rising energy prices as of summer of 2021 not only affected the energy sector but also first and foremost consumers. Facilitating the energy transition in an equitable way, leaving no one behind, is a guiding principle of the regulatory mission of CEER, ECRB and MEDREG. Ensuring security of supply and energy independence by accelerating the energy transition and mitigating energy poverty are the regulatory priorities in these times of turmoil.
This fourth edition of the trilateral workshop is an example of enhanced cooperation between the three regional organisations of energy regulators, confirmed in a cooperation arrangement that was signed in December 2018.
CEER President Ms. Annegret Groebel said: “The current geopolitical context marked by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the high volatility of prices in the energy sector requires immediate and long-term behavioural adjustments within the current market-based framework. The primordial goals of achieving energy independence and delivering the energy transition in a fair and holistic way, leaving no one behind, must not be obfuscated by the necessary short-term measures to protect consumers and guarantee the security of supply. As regulators, CEER is determined to promote active consumer engagement in energy markets by ensuring consumer-centric dynamic regulation as embedded in the 2022-2025 CEER Strategy: Empowering Consumers for the Energy Transition. Therefore, this trilateral workshop presents itself as a timely and essential opportunity for cooperation with our European and Mediterranean colleagues in this joint effort to deliver the energy transition with a consumer-centric approach.”
ECRB Customers and Retail Markets Chairman, Mr. Edin Zametica added: “The efforts to accelerate and facilitate the energy transition have led to significant changes in the energy system at the global and local level. The recent price spikes were driven by increased demand for energy in the context of a severe winter in Europe and exacerbated by a challenging geopolitical milieu, as well as a global pandemic. In this context, reliable support, affordable prices, and sustainable and green energy products are of the utmost importance for consumers. In addition, markets need to become more flexible and consumer-oriented by facilitating active participation. Combating energy poverty has featured high on the ECRB agenda and regulators have a crucial role to play in cooperating to promote a carbon-neutral energy system and empowering consumers.”
MEDREG Director, Mr. Hasan Ozkoc underlined: “The current political, economic and energy landscapes have emphasised the urge of ensuring a coherent regulation in our region, considering the security of supply concerns. The Mediterranean region possesses significant energy resources from various perspectives, which could be used to improve energy integration, independence, as well as the security of supply. Digitalization is of utmost importance; however, for the southern shore countries, we need to think of tackling the essentials for that region, for example the cross-subsidization. One of MEDREG’s main goals is to promote consumer protection and awareness so that they can have an active role in the energy transition. Overall, promoting a common regulatory framework is an opportunity to accelerate decarbonisation and sustainable energy developments to reach our long-term objectives of 2050.”