Vestager’s important fight for free flow of electricity

In recent years less than 20% of the capacity on the electricity cable between Germany and Western Denmark has been available to Nordic electricity producers. This practice unfairly limits Nordic electricity producers’ access to the German market and it is in direct conflict with the spirit of the European internal market. It was therefore with great appreciation, that the Nordic Energy associations recently learned, that the EU Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager, is opening a formal investigation into the case.

An opening of the electricity highway from the Nordic electricity market to Germany could have benefits for the entire European electricity market. Operation of several interconnectors in Europe suffer from the same malpractice as experienced on the Nordic-German border. This results in suboptimal allocation of resources across Europe, and in the end to welfare losses for European citizens.

Opening the Nordic-German interconnector would allow German electricity customers easier access to cheap and green electricity from the Nordic countries. Furthermore, free flow of electricity would allow for a more smooth integration of increasing shares of renewable energy in the European electricity system.

Finally, it would set a precedent for the rest of Europe, so the long held ambitions of a true internal electricity market in Europe could finally be realized.

Essentially, it is time to remove the barrier on the Nordic-German interconnector. The recent actions from the European Commission provides just the impetus for that.

By Anders Stouge (Deputy CEO, Danish Energy), Pernilla Winnhed (CEO, Swedenergy), Jukka Leskelä (CEO, Finnish Energy), Oluf Ulseth (CEO, Energy Norway)

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