For sometime now, European energy market integration has become a priority issue for EU energy policy. Energy market integration offers the prospect of a more cost-effective and competitive power and gas system, enhanced security and cross-border solidarity, and the potential for integrating a greater share of renewable energy (RES) and improved energy efficiency systems. These are necessary prerequisites for European energy transition into a more efficient and cleaner energy environment. Achieving this new state requires both the development of the necessary infrastructure and alignment to market rules and policies – a process that remains far from complete. While market integration and transition to cleaner fuels is progressing well at European level, this is not the case for SE Europe.
In most SE European countries, regional energy cooperation has been perceived as a necessary part of the European integration process. At the beginning of the present decade, the main targets of EU energy policy were incorporated in the long-term strategies of SEE countries. Lately, the focus has been redirected towards modernisation of energy infrastructure, the construction of new facilities, including electricity and gas interconnections, improvement of energy efficiency and increased use of RES
A major finding of IENE’s recently published "SE Europe Energy Outlook 2016/2017" study is that SE Europe, in contrast to the rest of Europe, remains committed to continuing coal use. Based on Institute’s estimates, the share of solid fuels for power generation is anticipated to increase steadily in several countries of the region (most notably in Serbia, Kosovo, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Greece and Turkey) over the next 10-15 years, as they will struggle to meet increased energy demand.
Hence, the road towards decarbonization and the transition to a “greener” future in SE Europe, with higher use of natural gas and renewables, appears difficult, if not uncertain, in comparison with the rest of Europe.
Join us in Brussels for a high-level discussion to explore the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead in SEE’s energy sector (gas, electricity and RES) and which are associated to the ongoing process of market transformation. The industry structure, in terms of ownership and regulation framework is currently changing in several SEE countries. The role of the state is reconsidered and the level of privatization and liberalization of electricity and gas markets can help shape the new business environment, creating exciting opportunities for market players, especially in power generation and gas supply and their corresponding retail sectors.