Energy exchange dry run starts, target model launch nearing

Simulated testing of all energy exchange market systems, the dry run, began yesterday, as officially scheduled, putting the launch of the target model on the final stretch.

Market systems linked to power grid operator IPTO, the Greek energy exchange, as well as EnexClear, an energy exchange subsidiary tasked with clearing transactions, are now operating under conditions of virtual reality, signaling the beginning of final-stage testing to be completed at the end of this month.

During the dry run, participating producers and buyers will be making simulated offers and purchases, the objective being to identify possible operational faults or insufficiencies for correction ahead of the official launch of the target model, scheduled for September 17.

All four energy exchange markets – the day-ahead, intraday, forward and balancing markets – are being tested. The energy exchange is in charge of the first three while IPTO is operator of the fourth.

Following August 11, EnexClear will take on a more active role for transaction clearances, a procedure to be performed on a weekly basis.

The overall procedure’s schedule was formalized by a ministerial decision signed on July 10.

High-voltage power demand up during lockdown, exchange data shows

Industrial high-voltage electricity demand during lockdown in Greece registered an unanticipated increase, rising by 12.46 percent in March, 21.86 percent in April, 30.62 percent in May and 19.71 percent in June, all compared to the equivalent month a year earlier, according to figures provided by the energy exchange.

Prior to lockdown, high-voltage electricity demand registered a milder 2.46 percent increase in February compared to the same month a year earlier.

Overall, in the first half of 2020, demand for high-voltage electricity rose by 14.87 percent compared to the equivalent period a year earlier, the energy exchange figures showed.

On the contrary, demand for mid-voltage and low-voltage electricity between February and May fell to lower levels compared to last year, according to the energy exchange data, reflecting inequalities in the impact of the pandemic on various economic sectors.

Mid-voltage electricity demand slumped 18.89, 22.43 and 22.08 percent in April, May and June, respectively, compared to the equivalent months a year earlier.

In the low-voltage category, concerning households, electricity demand fell considerably during the five-month period from February to June, registering drops of 6.08, 10.96, 19.1, 12.77 and 18.45 percent, respectively.

Figures provided by power grid operator showed an overall decrease, for all categories, of 4.3 percent in the first half of 2020 and a high-voltage demand decrease of 9.4 percent.

Natural gas, electricity imports most influential for Greek SMP levels

Natural gas and electricity imports are playing an increasingly important role in shaping System Marginal Prices, or wholesale prices, while the influence of more traditional energy sources is waning, latest monthly data provided by the Greek energy exchange has shown.

Natural gas’s influence on SMP levels grew between January and May this year, compared to other fuels and electricity imports and exports, the data showed.

Throughout the five-month period, natural gas-fueled power stations consistently ranked first in number of hours used for SMP levels, peaking in May with 491 hours. Electricity imports consistently followed as a the second most influential factor for all five months.

Lignite-fired power stations, previously a key factor for SMP levels, are now limited to a marginal role, their lowest contribution, one hour in an entire month, recorded in April, the January-to-May figures showed.

Greece’s international grid interconnections are playing an increasingly influential role in shaping the country’s SMP as well as covering energy demand, the data showed.

Power grid operator IPTO has increased capacities for electricity imports via Greece’s grid interconnections in the north.

Safety measures vital for target model markets, producers stress

The introduction of energy exchange spot markets, in September, when they are scheduled to begin operating, without the adoption of safety measures facilitating competition and preventing manipulative methods, primarily by power utility PPC, the market’s dominant player, could lead to undesired results and strengthen the market’s monopolistic character, independent electricity producer representatives have told energypress.

The officials expressed their concerns as a monitoring mechanism being prepared by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, with consultancy support, may not be fully functional at the time of the target model’s launch.

The monitoring mechanism is considered the basic tool in the effort to ensure healthy competition in electricity markets as it will be used to collect data from power grid operator IPTO and the Greek energy exchange and identify any manipulative practices in the wholesale market.

Interventions needed, according to independent electricity producers, include restricting PPC’s ability to establish two-way agreements; offering support to the new target model market with a supplementary market offering capacity availability; and protecting markets, overall, through powerful, consistent and independent monitoring mechanisms.


Energy exchange launch date rescheduled for September 17

The energy ministry is set to reschedule the energy exchange market’s launch date for September 17, two-and-a-half months beyond the original June 30 date, following commitments made yesterday, during a virtual conference, by the power grid operator IPTO and Hellenic Energy Exchange (HENEX) administrations on the delivery of information systems and time required for trial runs.

The energy ministry is now expected to soon deliver a related ministerial decision, probably next week, setting the new schedule for the target model, or, more specifically, the energy exchange’s spot markets.

The compatibility of platforms and other applications being co-developed by the Greek energy exchange and IPTO for the balancing market is seen as crucial to the success of the new schedule.

As has been previously reported, a delay in the delivery of a balancing market platform to IPTO by General Electric, commissioned this project, has been a key factor behind the inability of officials to meet the original June 30 launch date.

A GE team that was stationed in Athens for this project left the country without notice, citing the possibility of greater pandemic danger ahead, in reaction to the outbreak.

IPTO, now closely coordinating with GE for a specific delivery date following the relaxation of lockdown measures, has promised to gradually deliver required information systems as of this month, prompting Greek authorities to set a new launch date.

According to the new schedule, certain trial runs testing combined energy exchange and IPTO systems will begin on June 22. Simulated testing, or a dry run, of all systems is expected to start on August 3 and last until markets are actually launched on September 17, given no issues arise.

Energy exchange preparing spot market for natural gas

The Greek energy exchange has started working on the creation of a modern gas trading platform, energpress sources have informed.

A related study taking into account the needs and interests of companies has been completed as part of the preliminary work. A finalized decision on the effort’s schedule is soon expected.

At present, Greece does not possess an organized wholesale market for natural gas. Commercial transactions are mainly based on two-way agreements between producers and suppliers.

The Greek energy exchange, combining its efforts with gas grid operator DESFA, intends to create a spot market offering conditions that will determine natural gas prices through supply and demand amid a transparent environment to be trusted by all parties involved.

Energy exchange officials believe Greece’s geopolitical role will be pivotal in establishing the country as a central natural gas supply route to markets in southeast Europe.

Target model, energy exchange plans shaped by meeting today

The energy ministry intends to set new launch dates for the target model and energy exchange markets once it has drawn conclusions from a crucial meeting today with representatives of RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, the Greek energy exchange, and power grid operator IPTO.

A previous June 30 target model launch date will definitely be missed as a result of various delays, including a pandemic-related hold up in the delivery of a balancing market platform by General Electric to IPTO.

The revised target model schedule, to be included in a related ministerial decision, will be based on the new feasible launch date for energy exchange markets.

No pending issues remain concerning the operating regulations to apply for the new markets. All rules have been approved.

Certain formula details, including a much-debated formula concerning the percentage of production each producer will be able to secure through contracts, are expected imminently, prior to June 22, when the tenure of RAE’s head official is set to expire.

A GE team that was stationed in Athens for the balancing market platform project left the country without notice, citing the possibility of greater pandemic danger ahead.

IPTO is now closely coordinating with GE for a specific delivery date, following the relaxation of lockdown measures.

Well-informed authorities insist that the energy exchange’s spot markets cannot be launched before mid-September.


Monitoring mechanism ‘needed prior to target model markets’

A monitoring mechanism enabling RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, to protect target model electricity markets from abusive, non-competitive behavior by electricity producers, must be ready before target model markets are launched, the European Commission has stressed in its latest post-bailout report on the Greek economy.

Legislation ratified by the Greek government late in 2019 strengthened RAE’s powers by giving it authority to raid company offices and impose fines for abusive behavior.

The crucial role of the monitoring mechanism has also been pointed out in Greece’s revised National Energy and Climate Plan.

The monitoring mechanism, to collect data from power grid operator IPTO and the Greek stock exchange, will be able to identify wholesale trade irregularities.

The European Commission report projects Greece’s target model will be launched in the third quarter of this year, beyond a June 30 target date. The pandemic has negatively impacted the delivery date of a trading platform by General Electric.

Earlier this week, market officials contended that a launch of spot markets at the Greek energy exchange is not possible until September, rejecting IPTO claims of an earlier target model start within August.

RAE starts target model delay investigation, hearing possible

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has launched an investigation seeking to pinpoint the causes behind the delay of the target model’s first stage.

An April 10 deadline was missed for trial runs of all market systems in a procedure involving power grid operator IPTO, the energy exchange and EnexClear.

IPTO was unable to complete the development of a balancing market platform needed for the trial runs. The operator attributed its delay to a coronavirus-related inability by General Electric to deliver required software on time. This delay has now clocked up some 60 days.

The energy authority wants to determine whether any other factors, besides the coronavirus pandemic’s inevitable effect, have played a role in the delay of the trial run.

RAE also wants to examine the impact of the delays until now on the target model’s next stages. A full-scale launch scheduled for June 30, when day-ahead, intraday and balancing markets are expected to begin operating, now appears to be out of the question, while a delay beyond summer is feared.

The authority could summon all parties involved to a hearing to determine whether penalties need to be imposed.

Target model schedule’s first major deadline hit by coronavirus

Trial runs of energy exchange market systems, the target model’s first major deadline, were officially scheduled to commence today but have been postponed as a result of coronavirus-related delays, power grid operator IPTO has informed.

IPTO, the energy exchange and EnexClear were scheduled to start system tests today.

General Electric, citing the period’s extraordinary conditions, has explained it is not in a position to deliver finalized version of a platform needed for the balancing market.

The company estimates a 50-day delay in the delivery of the related software, based on current data.

This delay will have a knock-on effect on the schedule mapping out an energy exchange launch on June 30.

According to law, RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, will need to begin an investigation process on the matter and determine responsibilities for the delay. Presumably, IPTO and the energy exchange will need to offer explanations.

A new official date will then need to be set once the investigation has been completed. Now set to be dragged into the summer period, the energy exchange launch may be further delayed, beyond August.


Target model’s June 30 launch date headed for delay, extent unclear

The target model and energy exchange launch date, scheduled for June 30, is no longer possible, unless unforeseeable changes occur, the main issue now being the extent of the expected delay, officials agreed during a virtual conference staged on Wednesday by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy.

Energy exchange and power grid operator IPTO officials took part in the session, held to evaluate preparations of the launch.

Officials admitted the target model’s delay could be over one month long. Given the August summer break, its launch may need to be made even later, they noted.

Similar thoughts were expressed during a preceding European Commission conference, on Monday, to check the target model’s progress.

Despite the extraordinary period’s accumulation of difficulties, the energy ministry still considers the existing target model launch date as official and contends it will make all efforts to achieve it.

General Electric, citing the unforeseeable coronavirus circumstances, has stated it cannot deliver a finalized platform for IPTO’s balancing market over the next few days, as had been planned.

Consequently, a trial run of market systems officially scheduled for April 10 is no longer possible, according to the energy exchange.

On the contrary, IPTO believes trial runs can still be performed without the balancing market’s finalized platform.

Futures market launched in adverse conditions, PPC the market maker

The energy exchange’s futures market begins operating today, far sooner than planned following considerable efforts from all agencies and authorities involved, but the launch comes at a time of adverse conditions.

Authorities, given the currently unfavorable abnormal market conditions, will be content to see this new platform operate without technical glitches. Trial runs ahead of today’s launch did not produce problems.

The current pressure felt by financial markets and electricity suppliers has reined in early expectations.

Power utility PPC will assume the crucial role of market maker, bringing in the embryonic market’s first futures products.

The early launch of the futures market was promoted by the energy ministry to help cover electricity supplier needs following the premature termination of NOME auctions.

Ministerial decision on target model schedule set for delivery

The energy ministry is close to issuing a ministerial decision that will offer a specific and binding schedule concerning the implementation of the target model, including the launch of energy exchange markets, ministry sources have informed.

Deputy energy minister Gerassimos Thomas, who attended yesterday’s opening energy exchange session for 2020, stressed the target model will be fully functional by the second half of 2020 following a series of delays. This development will offer greater market transparency and eliminate many distortions, he added.

Any violation of the target model schedule will require RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, to impose penalties within 20 days, according to new regulations.

The ministerial decision setting the target model schedule is required by recent energy-sector legislation.

This legislation sets a road map of commitments for power grid operator IPTO and the Greek energy exchange leading to the launch of energy markets.



Authorities in rush for new futures product as NOME replacement

Authorities and agencies, primarily Greece’s energy exchange, tasked with designing a futures product intended to replace the country’s NOME auctions, being abolished, are racing against a time limit imposed by the European Commission.

The introduction of a six-month product, to run from this coming January to June, is being considered, according to a recent update provided by the government to Brussels.

Preparations leading to the establishment of required platforms by the end of the year are being pushed ahead.

Various developments have shrunk the available time for the new product’s introduction by six months, placing all authorities involved under considerable time pressure.

The Greek energy exchange, aiming to start operating in February, is currently working closely will all other relevant agencies on various issues, including the delivery of a product to replace the NOME auctions.

The level of readiness of power utility PPC to assume the role of market maker of the new futures product is pivotal.

Independent suppliers fear post-NOME auctions void

Independent electricity supplier representatives will be going into their first meeting today with recently appointed deputy energy minister Gerassimos Thomas preoccupied by concerns over the plausibility of the deputy’s plan for an organized futures market, as an intermediate measure until the target model is implemented. They fear this plan may not be actualized.

Thomas, who requested today’s session as part of a series of meetings with energy sector players, has so far shown an eagerness to listen and seek solutions to various market issues.

The supplier representatives will be hoping the deputy minister has reassuring news on the launch of the target model and energy exchange markets in June, 2020.

They will also want firm news on a satisfactory hedging tool for competitive prices as a temporary substitute for NOME auctions – if they are abolished and the year’s final session, scheduled for October 16, is scrapped – until the target model’s implementation.

Suppliers fear being exposed to elevated wholesale electricity prices and other uncertainties that would endanger their sustainability if the year’s final NOME auction is not held. Suppliers have counted on the year’s final session, planned to offer a substantial electricity amount, as a growth catalyst over the next year.

Introduced about three years ago as a tool to reduce power utility PPC’s dominant retail market share, the NOME auctions have obligated the utility to offer rivals below-cost wholesale electricity.


Plan to end NOME auctions raises fears among suppliers

A government plan to prematurely end the country’s NOME auctions has unsettled some of the Greek retail electricity market’s independent suppliers, who fear the absence of an effective transitional model until the establishment of the target model would expose them to unforeseen dangers.

Energy minister Costis Hatzidakis has declared he wants to abolish NOME auctions, including the year’s final session, scheduled for October 16, noting the measure – introduced by the previous government as a tool to help end power utility PPC’s market dominance – is forcing the state-controlled utility to sell wholesale electricity at below-cost levels and consequently further aggravating the troubled firm’s financial performance.

Electricity suppliers, not including the major vertically integrated players, have expressed concerns as a further delay in the implementation of the target model and launch of energy exchange markets is considered likely.

Some suppliers have asked their legal departments to examine possible moves.

“On the NOME auctions, we would like to point out that we are confident the ministry will find the fairest solution for healthy competition,” commented Federico Regola, CEO at Zenith. “We are open to discussing our experience with authorities in order to relay our experience for utilization and the proper functioning of the market to the benefit of consumers. We are monitoring developments and awaiting related announcements while also maintaining our legal rights, like all companies, as this issue does not only concern Zenith but the entire sector,” he continued.


Energy exchange chief confident of full launch by next June

The Hellenic Energy Exchange’s (HENEX) outgoing chief executive Michalis Philippou is confident a road map leading to the exchange’s full launch next June will remain on schedule.

Philippou, who delivered an opening speech yesterday at a HENEX seminar titled “Derivatives Market Introduction”, asserted all energy exchange systems will be ready for use by the end of this year ahead of the exchange’s full launch on June 1.

During the preceding six-month period, participants will have the opportunity to become acquainted with the exchange’s systems, while HENEX can make any necessary corrections ahead of the full launch, Philippou pointed out.

The official explained it is crucial for the exchange’s various markets – day-ahead, intraday, futures and balancing – to begin operating concurrently so that harmony can be generated, otherwise the effort to establish a new model would run into problems.

This essentially means the energy exchange’s full launch next June should, more or less, signal the start of the target model, envisioning the harmonization of EU wholesale markets.

RAE pressuring for target model launch before June, 2020

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, is pressuring the Energy Exchange and power grid operator IPTO for swifter procedures leading to the establishment of a new model for the electricity market, the target model.

The authority wants the target model to be launched sooner than June, 2020. According to a recent schedule, the new model, which should have been launched in 2015, is slated for a launch in the second half of 2020.

IPTO and the Energy Exchange need to respond, by next month, to questions raised by RAE at a July hearing on the reasons for the model’s series of deferrals by next month.

RAE supports the establishment of one liquidator for four new spot markets to emerge under the target model.

The country’s lender representatives will be in Athens next month. If unfinished target model matters are not sorted out by then, Greek authorities will have serious explaining to do.


HENEX, IPTO face RAE hearing over target model, exchange delays

The administrations of the Hellenic Energy Exchange (HENEX) and power grid operator IPTO have been summoned to offer explanations for significant delays holding back the launch of the target model and full operation of the energy exchange at a RAE (Regulatory Authority for Energy) hearing today.

RAE has expressed concern over a series of delays and continual schedule revisions for the new markets.

The authority has warned that these delays are detrimental for market participants, including industrial enterprises currently unable to establish bilateral agreements.

According to the most recent update, the Greek energy exchange is expected to be fully operational by June, 2020, when all its platforms should be up and running following trial runs.

This will enable Greece to proceed with an EU market coupling plan via Italy before a grid link with Bulgaria is also established.

The target model is planned to offer market coupling, or harmonization of EU wholesale markets.


HENEX, IPTO to face RAE hearing over target model, exchange delays

The administrations of the Hellenic Energy Exchange (HENEX) and power grid operator IPTO have been summoned to a hearing later this month by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, to offer explanations for significant delays concerning the launch of the target model and full operation of the energy exchange.

The hearing is planned to take place at the end of July, energypress sources have informed.

RAE has expressed concerns over a series of launch deferrals of the target model, to offer market coupling, or harmonization of EU wholesale markets.

The authority sees these delays as being abnormal while also negatively impacting prospective market participants such as industrial enterprises, currently not able to proceed with bilateral agreements.

In its most recent update, IPTO noted that the energy exchange will be fully operational in about a years’ time, in June, 2020.

RAE, concerned by target model delay, requests report

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, concerned about Greece’s delayed implementation of the target model, aiming for market coupling, or harmonization of EU wholesale markets, has requested a detailed progress report from the Energy Exchange and power grid operator IPTO.

The authority also wants the two bodies to deliver a binding finalized schedule detailing when this preparatory work will be completed for the new model to be ready to operate.A series of target model deferrals have raised concerns at RAE, now preparing to apply increased pressure, sources noted.

According to the latest schedule, the electricity market’s new model, which should have been launched in 2015, is now expected to be ready to operate in the second half of 2020.

A tender for logistics required in the market coupling procedure between the Greek and Italian markets is expected to be completed by this date.

Delays have also been identified in the establishment of three spot markets at the energy exchange – intraday, day-head and balancing markets.

RES output payments troubled by new system delay

Major delays in the implementation of a new renewable energy support system, requiring full coordination between various industry agencies, threaten to leave producers unpaid for their output.

The power grid operator IPTO and the energy exchange are among the bodies that need to introduce new systems and tools, but technical issues confronted along the way have severely delayed the process, whose launch has been scheduled for July 1, now seen as an impossible target.

The energy ministry has been fully informed on the matter and prepared a legislative amendment to offer a three-month extension. However, the execution of this act is now in doubt as a result of the government’s call, last weekend, for snap elections on July 7. Legislative activity is highly unlikely, if not impossible, in the lead up.

RES producers will not be able to be paid for their output as of July 1 if the new support system has not been implemented because of a resulting legal void.

Sensing the danger of this problem in the making, energy ministry officials are now seeking solutions, energypress sources informed.

Spot market upper, lower limits would distort target model, EVIKEN warns

Industrial sector officials have warned that an Energy Exchange proposal for upper and lower limits in the spot market’s day-ahead and intraday markets, forwarded for consultation by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, would lead to target model distortions.

The target model is aiming for market coupling, or harmonization of EU wholesale markets, in order to unify energy markets.

Though RAE acknowledges bailout terms do not permit the imposition of any upper or lower limits for offers and prices in these markets, the authority has put forward upper and lower limit proposals noting a need for a smooth transition towards the target model without any extreme price fluctuations.

EVIKEN, the Association of Industrial Energy Consumers, has responded by forwarding a letter that argues such price limits would neither comply with existing terms nor prices determined by decisions at ACER, Europe’s Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators.

The proposal would lead to severe market distortions by limiting the free setting of market prices and also delay the Greek market’s coupling with the Italian and Bulgarian markets, EVIKEN stressed in its letter.


Revised energy exchange spot markets on track for September

Greece’s energy exchange authorities are striving for spot market exchange platforms to be ready by September, for training purposes, ahead of a fully-functional launch of the exchange’s three spot markets – the intraday, balancing and day-ahead markets – by the end of the year.

A derivatives market is expected to be ready approximately two months later while, the third step of the overall procedure, expected within 2020, will entail electricity market coupling with regional markets, beginning with Italy.

The initial target dates of the target model, aiming for market coupling, or harmonization of EU wholesale markets, in order to unify energy markets, ended up being beyond reach, as certain authorities with know-how had warned, but the procedure’s revised dates now appear to be on track.

The new trading tools to be made available to investors through the energy exchange promise to offer investors elevated business risk control and safer investment development.



PPC-related penalty added to year’s NOME auction amount

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has decided to increase the overall NOME electricity amount to be offered over four auctions in 2019 by adding 520 MWh/h to the scheduled 1,444 MWh/h tally as a penalty for the main power utility PPC’s failure to reach an end-of-2018 market share contraction target.

The year’s auctions are planned to start with a modest electricity amount of 350 MWh/h at 2019’s opening session, scheduled for February 8, according to a just-released Energy Exchange chart detailing the distribution of amounts over the year’s four auctions.

Authorities are believed to have decided on a small electricity amount for the opening session so as to enable a reduction of bigger amounts set for the year’s three ensuing auctions if PPC’s ongoing bailout-required disinvestment of lignite units succeeds.

Independent suppliers have already reacted against the distribution plan for the year after interpreting this approach as a form of further protection for PPC.

The NOME auctions were introduced over two years ago to offer independent players access to PPC’s lower-cost lignite and hydropower sources as a means of intensifying competition in the retail electricity market, still dominated by the state-controlled power utility.

According to the Energy Exchange chart, 355 MWh/h has been planned for the year’s second NOME auction on April 17, 500 MWh/h is scheduled for a July 17 auction, and 767 MWh/h for 2019’s fourth and final auction on October 16.

NOME export revisions ahead, extra power amounts to be cut

The energy exchange, understandably in agreement with RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, plans to revise a NOME auction electricity exports measure to secure NOME prices instead of System Marginal Price (SMP) levels for new customers joining independent electricity suppliers during three-month intermediate periods between auctions.

In a related public consultation procedure held over the past few days, suppliers warned a framework of measures planned by authorities would expose them further to SMP levels and prevent suppliers from broadening customer bases between auctions.

Authorities are also examining ways to maintain rights acquired by suppliers and traders for futures products bought at previous auctions.

In its public consultation procedure intervention, ESAI/HAIPP, the Hellenic Association of Independent Power Producers, called for additional measures that could help increase the retail electricity market shares of independent suppliers.

Meanwhile, the energy ministry is planning a legislative revision to abolish a bailout tern requiring the addition of NOME auction electricity amounts in 2019 as a penalty against the main power utility PPC for its failure to meet a market share contraction target set for 2018. This action will be taken assuming PPC sells its Meliti and Megalopoli lgnite-fired power stations included in its bailout-required disinvestment package of lignite units.

According to the bailout term, RAE – this month – was supposed to add approximately 520 MWh/h to 2019’s NOME electricity amount of 1,444 MWh/h. Instead, 520 MWh/h now appears set to be reduced from the year’s NOME tally.

The government and country’s lenders have agreed on a reduction of the NOME auction tally from 22 percent of total consumption to 13 percent if the ongoing sale effort for these two lignite units is completed.



Brussels opposes Greek export limit plan for NOME electricity

The European Commission has expressed its opposition to a plan by RAE, Regulatory Authority for Energy, aiming to limit exports of electricity amounts acquired at Greece’s NOME auctions – following an energy exchange recommendation in a public consultation procedure – but notes certain exceptions would be permitted, in a letter forwarded to the authority.

Brussels reminds RAE restricting free trade is forbidden by the EU, while adding European courts have made clear that, besides certain quantitative restrictions, trade restrictions implemented as official state policy are not permitted.

Greek authorities have been asked to prove if the NOME export limits being contemplated could qualify as exceptions.

RAE, in related talks expected soon with European Commission authorities, intends to highlight the need for NOME export limits and will be hoping for an agreement ahead of the first auction in 2019.

The Brussels letter’s first part focuses on EU concerns over China’s presence in the Greek energy market.



Traders appeal to Brussels over NOME export limit proposal

Energy firms primarily active in transboundary electricity trade are seeking European Commission support in an effort to prevent the adoption, in Greece, of restrictions – including indirect measures – on exports of electricity amounts secured at local NOME auctions.

Traders were prompted into action by a Greek Energy Exchange proposal forwarded to a public consultation procedure staged by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, calling for NOME-related electricity exports to be sold at just under the System Marginal Price (SMP), or wholesale price, rather than lower prices secured at the auctions.

NOME auctions were introduced about two years ago to offer independent energy firms access to the main power utility PPC’s lower-cost lignite and hydrocarbon sources as a means of breaking the utility’s retail electricity market dominance.

In their appeal, export-minded traders have cited the EU’s free-trade principle as their main argument. It is not yet clear how the European Commission could respond.




Greece backs Poland in CO2 price investigation request

Poland appears to have gained the Greek government’s support in the country’s request to the European Commission for an investigation into CO2 emission right price manipulation suspicions at energy exchanges.

Like Warsaw, the Greek government is also concerned by the rise in CO2 emission right prices, energy ministry sources have admitted.

It remains unclear if the issue was tabled at a meeting yesterday between energy minister Giorgos Stathakis and Maros Sefcovic, the European Commission’s vice president for Energy Union.

Emission right allowances could be increased if these price manipulation suspicions are confirmed, sources around Europe believe.

Poland has been particularly affected by escalating CO2 emission right prices as it a coal-dependent nation. Just weeks ago, the Polish government forwarded a request, in writing, to Brussels calling for an investigation into CO2 emission right prices. They reached 20.70 euros per ton yesterday.

PPC reacts against RAE tribunal plan for energy exchange disputes

The main power utility PPC has raised objections to Greek energy exchange rules proposed by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, especially a proposal that would give the authority the right to arbitrate energy exchange disputes, regarded as anti-constitutional by the power utility.

PPC’s objections were included in a letter forwarded by a key official. Early last month, RAE invited interested parties to take part in public consultation.

PPC, in its letter, contends that the proposed regulation would deprive parties involved in disputes of the right to choose their preferred courses of action.

According to the RAE proposal, the arbitration tribunal for Greek energy exchange disputes would be chaired by members of RAE, technical chambers, lawyer societies, as well as professors of higher education institutions with related knowledge.

RAE’s proposals would prevent the newly established energy exchange from developing into an important regional exchange, PPC also asserted in its letter.