Energy exchange, target model schedules get Brussels nod

Greece’s lender representatives, in Athens for fourth-review bailout negotiations, have expressed understanding for energy sector-related delays concerning the bailout program, while European Commission technocrats, part of the lenders team, agreed that preparations leading to the establishment of a local energy exchange as well as the target model are on the right track.

The lender representatives held meetings with officials from RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy; LAGIE, the Electricity Market Operator;  IPTO, Greece’s power grid operator; and the Athens stock exchange. Technical details and schedules concerning the energy exchange and target model were presented and examined.

The groundwork was laid for the detachment of the energy exchange’s development from the bailout review procedures, during yesterday’s meeting, according to some sources. If so, this suggests that European Commission officials are convinced of the progress being made for the energy exchange’s finalized plan, expected late April of early May. RAE is expected to have approved spot market regulations by the end of June.

The energy exchange’s aim will be to harmonize the Greek energy market with all European markets, generate greater competition and transparency, and offer energy supply security to the country’s energy mix through diversified energy sources, including greater renewable energy participation.

The establishment of the energy exchange has been incorporated into the Target Model, a process entailing the electricity wholesale market’s harmonisation with EU law.

The switch from Greece’s current daily energy program to the target model system is scheduled to take place following the first quarter of 2019, once IPTO has finalized a new system code. The punctuality here will depend on the progress of preparations for the establishment of the forward market, day-ahead market and intra-day market.

Firms interested in providing the software for the balancing market face a late-March deadline. The winning bidder is expected to be announced in April. This project will take one year to complete.

It is believed that, by then, the Greek electricity market will be able to bridged with the Italian market, which will represent the target model’s first practical application.

Authorities are examining the possibility of an intermediate stage that would initially only bridge the day-ahead market. However, this seems unlikely, meaning that all markets will need to be bridged as one move.