Northern Europe takes first step for a fully integrated European energy market

A strong regional integration of the energy markets in Northern Europe is the first step towards a fully integrated European market. This should urgently be speeded up by delivering the necessary investment in energy infrastructure and power generation. This was the main message from the north European energy industry on the North European Energy Dialogue Business Meeting in Brussels today.

With this starting point a strong  group of representatives from the northern European energy industry shipped a clear message to the North European Ministers before their North European Energy Dialogue in Copenhagen Wednesday 21st of November. The discussion about creating a strong regional integration of energy markets in Northern Europe is the first important step in making a fully integrated European energy market.

- The European energy industry is facing major challenges the coming years due to replacement of a vast number of aging power stations and massive investments in grids. We have to create an integrated European market, but to do so we have to facilitate the right conditions for investing in generation capacity and energy infrastructure. And we have to act now. Energy systems whether infrastructure or generation take years to build and are in operation for decades. 2020 is just around the corner and reducing the regulatory risk is crucial to secure the needed investments, says Lars Aagaard, CEO of Danish Energy Association.

He emphasizes that it is a huge challenge to integrate all the markets in Europe simultaneously, but points out that the Northern European countries in this respect have a strong foundation to build on to pave the way for the rest of Europe.

- Despite the economic crisis, investments in modernising our energy system are needed. Therefore the energy industry warmly welcomes the NEED-initiatives taken by Martin Lidegaard, Minister for Climate,  Energy and Building. But there is an urgent need to focus on common solutions and avoid inward looking national policies. We need an internal energy market without price regulation, with a true market coupling and open and equal access to all transmission grids with no capacity restriction.  Clarity about the future investment in power generation through an agreement on a long-term policy framework will be an important starting point to maintain a high security of supply and affordable energy prices. Furthermore, this will send the necessary long-term price signal to investors , says Mr. Aagaard.