Minister’s plan for reduced RAE powers limited by EU law

The newly appointed Production Reconstruction, Environment and Energy Minister Panayiotis Lafazanis’s intention to limit the executive powers of RAE, the country’s Regulatory Authority for Energy, is not feasible as this would violate European Union legislation for the energy sector, sources with extensive backgrounds in EU energy-related regulatory matters have told energypress.

According to EU law ratified in 2011, open markets, competition, and the strategic roles of regulatory authorities stand as priorities for the EU, not only in the energy sector, but all markets.

Certain revisions could only be made in matters concerning licensing, along the lines of RAE’s German equivalent, which is not a licensing authority, the sources noted.

The plan to limit RAE’s authority in Greece’s energy market would be made “within the context of EU directives”, Lafazanis, who heads the leftist Syriza-led government’s more radical left, known as the “Left Platform”, noted earlier this week.

RAE’s current powers include energy supply security, licensing, infrastructure development, management of closed distribution networks, supervision of independent transmission operators, certification of transmission system operators, consumer protection, and implementation of regulatory measures for the energy market’s proper functioning.

The majority of RAE’s powers are linked to EU directives. Any changes would need to be carefully executed under the supervision of the European Commission and the EU’s Direcorate-General for Energy.