Visiting troika questions electricity market revisions

The country’s creditor representatives, or troika, in Athens since last week for a new round of inspections and negotiations, have raised questions and doubts over certain revisions being made to Greece’s energy market, while, the visiting officials have noted that some of the changes planned for the electricity market will need to be reexamined, according to energypress sources.

On the electricity market, troika officials questioned the legal framework proposed by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, for NOME-type auctions for lignite-fired electricity and hydropower. The creditor representatives also raised questions about the restructuring of the Capacity Assurance Mechanism.

The troika’s questioning on the NOME-type auctions seems to suggest that these could end up being overprotective of Greek industry. Certain sector officials involved in the matter contend that both creditors and the European Commission are obstructing the prospect of an energy cost reduction for Greek industry.

As for the Capacity Assurance Mechanism, the troika officials do not appear to have a problem with support for production units offering flexibility to the country’s electricity system, through a new CAT mechanism. But they have expressed doubts as to whether a mechanism will be needed to compensate production units for capacity assurance during low-demand periods, when excess capacity is already available. It should be noted that these issues have been examined in studies conducted ahead of the changes.

On another front, an outline of a study focused on the country’s target model, a schedule of projects aiming for a smooth transition of Greece’s energy system into a unified European model, has already been forwarded for public consultation.

As for the liberalization of the retail gas market, draft legislation is indeed behind schedule, and negotiating parties have yet to reach a compensation agreement over an end to exclusive market rights. The troika does not appear to be at odds with the coalition’s revisions proposed to the shareholders, in this case gas supply companies (EPA) covering the wider Athens region, Thessaloniki, and Thessalia, in the mid-northeast.