Ahead of the Energy Community Ministerial Council on 15 December, the Energy Community Secretariat published its Annual Implementation Report which tracks the Contracting Parties’ progress in implementing the Energy Community acquis.
Director Lorkowski said: “Despite the destabilizing impacts of Russia’s war against Ukraine, many Contracting Parties made progress in reforming their energy sectors. Reforms even gained new momentum in certain Contracting Parties. Nevertheless, significant challenges do remain and the Secretariat will continue to do its utmost to support all Contracting Parties in advancing the reform agenda in line with their obligations under the Energy Community Treaty and the European Green Deal.”
Deputy Director Buschle said: “This reporting year has been by far the most challenging in the history of the Energy Community. It is encouraging to see that the majority of reforms proved resilient in an extremely difficult environment. Ukraine managed to stay the course of reform in many areas, while Moldova used the crisis to advance energy reforms that were almost unimaginable just one year ago. The strategic goal of connecting Ukraine and Moldova to the continental European network was one of the biggest breakthroughs, reflecting the solidarity that the Energy Community is built on.”
Given the urgent need to shift the energy sector away from fossil fuels, especially of Russian origin, all Contracting Parties are encouraged to continue to improve their regulatory and legal framework to accelerate the uptake of renewable energy. More progress is also needed in terms of encouraging energy efficiency and energy savings in all sectors, and to replace across-the-board regulated retail prices by targeted support to vulnerable customers.
The report points to several deficiencies in the implementation of environmental law, which remains of concern in terms of pollution standards and in the quality of permitting procedures.
There was little overall progress to advance the creation of electricity spot markets in the region, an essential precondition for the further development of electricity markets and their integration needed for the transition towards a decarbonized and decentralized electricity sector. This development is expected to accelerate with the adoption of the electricity integration package by the Ministerial Council at its meeting on 15 December in Vienna.
The energy crisis also saw the rise of emergency stabilization measures in many Contracting Parties, which will continue to be monitored by the Secretariat to ensure their compliance with the acquis. It is important that interventions in the market are proportionate and strictly time limited for the period of the actual energy crisis.
The 2022 report covers electricity, gas, energy regulators, oil, renewable energy, energy efficiency, environment, climate, infrastructure, competition, statistics and cyber security. The full report, as well as the executive report and country reports as separate files, can now be downloaded on the Energy Community website.