www.global-counsel.co.uk | 08 Mayıs 2015
Last week Europe’s Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager launched a sector-wide inquiry into the use of ‘capacity mechanisms’ – schemes in which power plants are paid to remain available to provide back-up generation, rather than for the power they actually produce. At first glance the inquiry appears technical and rather narrow, but the outcome will have significant implications for both the future of gas in Europe and the Commission’s long-held ambition to create a single European energy market. Together with the reactivation of the antitrust case against Gazprom, the inquiry also highlights DG Competition as an important actor in shaping the Commission’s much vaunted Energy Union. How Vestager and her team choose to exercise their considerable discretion in the capacity mechanisms inquiry will be an important signal in whether the Energy Union emerges as a serious upgrading of the European energy market, or simply a rebranding exercise.
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