The European energy regulators have been working together for many years to promote regional cooperation and the integration of energy markets. The Regional Initiatives (RIs), launched by the European Regulators Group for Electricity and Gas (ERGEG) in 2006, aimed at bringing together national regulatory authorities (NRAs), transmission system operators (TSOs) and other stakeholders in a voluntary process to advance integration at the regional level as a step towards the creation of a well-functioning Internal Energy Market (IEM). The RIs represent a bottom up approach to the completion of the IEM, in the sense that they bring all market participants together to notably test solutions for cross-border issues, carry out early implementation of the EU acquis and come up with pilot-projects which can be exported from one region to the others.
There is now a common vision for the completion of the IEM in electricity by 2014: electricity markets across Europe must share a set of common features and be linked by efficient management of interconnection capacities. In order to achieve this, Capacity Allocation and Congestion Management (CACM) and Balancing have been identified as priority areas. Four clear Target Models exist for electricity market integration: three relate to CACM and one to Balancing.
With this strong common vision and these clear Target Models, ACER started applying in cooperation with all stakeholders its new vision for RIs based on a more project-oriented, pan-European approach, a strong stakeholders’ involvement and adequate governance structure.