New energy exchange market, coupling date delays likely

Greek and Italian officials representing grid operators, regulatory authorities and the energy exchanges of both countries believe targets dates set for the launch of new energy exchange markets and coupling of the Greek and Italian markets are too immediate and not achievable, it was determined at a recent meeting in Athens.

A target model agreement between Greece and the country’s lenders has set April 1, 2019 as the starting date of new energy exchange markets and June 1, 2019 for market coupling of the Greek and Italian markets.

Even if all market regulations, platforms and other details are ready for an April 1 launch of new energy exchange markets, some time would still be needed for real-condition training purposes of participants, officials taking part in the Athens meeting agreed. A launch about two months later, in July, 2019, would be more realistic, they noted. During this period, preparations for Greece’s coupling with the Italian market would be concurrently pushed ahead.

It became apparent at the Athens meeting, staged in July 12, that Italian and other European market officials to be impacted by the Greek-Italian coupling plan are not prepared to move ahead unless systems have previously been tested and operated on a trial basis for a satisfactory period of time. This essentially means that Greece’s coupling plan with the Italian market is not possible any sooner than the end of 2019.

New market conditions concerning the time it will take to implement the target model are expected to be presented at a related local event tomorrow.

It remains unclear how Brussels will react to any schedule revisions beyond Greece’s bailout period, ending next month. Lender representatives showed some flexibility during their most recent visit to Athens as they also acknowledged the initial plan’s dates are premature. At the other end, Greek officials have presented solid proof of a dedicated effort and progress made until now.

The country’s lenders, especially the European Commission, may maintain this more tolerant stance if Greek officials manage to convince that all possible efforts have been made.

Any delays to the new energy exchange market and Greek-Italian coupling dates will create further uncertainty with respect to NOME auction revisions that will enable the incorporation of these auctions into futures markets.

This uncertainty and various other market factors drove prices higher at a NOME auction held yesterday.