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EU & WBs / Albania Energy Regulatory Updates

Presentation of Albanian Centre for Energy Regulation and Conservation - ACERC

Acerc is a think tank centre with a focus on the Albania energy market and its integration in Regional & IEM. The Acerc mission based on the in-depth knowledge of EU and Regional Energy Law and Policy and strives to provide aqualified contribution to the promotion of the liberalization and effective integration as well as efficient use of energy resources.

Acerc main activities consists in build-up collaborationand support to market players in the market researches such as the release of reports, articles and periodicals. Activity accompanied with the offering of the support in capacity building through national and regional seminars, trainings and conferences. Initiatives aims to enable in advocating in the energy sector promoting a forum called in Albanian School of Regulation.

For more visit us at the Official Website of Acerc | Albanian Energy Market - AEM Group in LinkedIn

Member States to Coordinate Energy Policies Starting at Regional Level with ENTSO-E Commitment to Contribute 19 March 2015

AER Notice February 2015 Posted on Thu, March 19, 2015 11:28:38

Member States to Coordinate Energy Policies Starting at Regional Level
with ENTSO-E Commitment to Contribute

19 March 2015

Ahead of
today’s European Council’s discussions on the Energy Union Pierre Bornard,
ENTSO-E’s Chairman of the Board insisted on the need to speed up energy policy
coordination among Member States, to start with the regions.

‘In order to
achieve Europe’s ambitious targets on renewables, climate, energy efficiency
but also on competitiveness and security of supply, Member States will have to
acknowledge the interdependence of their energy policy decisions and
co-ordinate them much better at least at a regional level,’ he said. ‘If we are
really serious about putting the citizen at the core of the Energy Union we
have to be faster and more ambitious in our actions’. ‘Member States have indeed
the right and responsibility to ensure their security of supply and to make
energy mix decisions at a national level, within the framework of the Internal
Energy Market. However, power does not stop flowing at Member States’ borders
and security of supply is achieved with mutual help and primary resource
pooling’, Bornard continued.

Regionalisation,
which features strongly in the Commission’s Energy Union Communication, can be
a fast track towards an integrated electricity market. ‘This means that energy
policy choices are coordinated on such issues as system adequacy on a regional
level, flexibility to balance renewables, capacity remuneration mechanisms,
generation reserves and back-up capacity’, continued ENTSO-E’s Chairman of the
Board. ‘All of these decisions have important cross-border impacts and could,
if not co-ordinated, result in market fragmentation and thus higher prices,
elevated risks and less choice for the 500 million European citizens.’

The
implementation of regionally coordinated system adequacy would be an important
step forward and would anchor the role of ENTSO-E’s Scenario Outlook &
Adequacy Forecast and seasonal outlook assessments as Member States’ reference
point for defining policies related to security of supply and energy-mix
strategies. This could, if necessary, be addressed through a review of the
Security of Supply Directive 2005/89/EC.

In its paper
on the Energy Union Strategy, ENTSO-E highlights the importance of a sound
regulatory framework of the policies related to the energy mix as a
prerequisite for efficient planning and realisation. ‘And there is a need to
strengthen ACER, which might require increased resources to ensure the
implementation of the network codes, improve the cooperation between national
regulators and create an adequate and coherent pan-European regulatory
framework.’ Bornard stressed further.

The
Commission’s Energy Union paper recognises also the increasing importance of
ENTSO-E. TSOs offer solutions on a national, regional and pan-European
level. They provide objective
assessments on the impacts, opportunities and risks to power system operation
of different policy options and thus help ensure that the transition will be
smooth and cost effective.

Last but not
least and because power does not stop at the EU’s borders, cooperation with the
European neighbours, and here in particular with the Energy Community but also
Turkey is high on ENTSO-E’s agenda. In addition to the fact that TSOs from
almost all the South-East European Contracting Parties of the Energy Community
are ENTSO-E members, on 15 April ENTSO-E will sign the Long-Term Agreement on
synchronisation with the Turkish TSO TEIAS. Reliability, sustainability, and
connectedness are the contributions ENTSO-E will make to turn the Energy Union
from promise to practice.



Albania to sell state oil firm, offer oil blocks Tue, 17th Mar 2015

AER Notice February 2015 Posted on Thu, March 19, 2015 00:22:59

Albania to sell state
oil firm, offer oil blocks

Tue, 17th Mar 2015

Albania to sell state oil firm this year-PM

* Investors will be offered new exploration blocks

* Albania says has 40 million tonnes of easily
extractable oil

By Benet Koleka

TIRANA, March 17 (Reuters) – Albania wants to try
again to privatise its state oil company this year, and will soon begin
offering its blocks for oil and gas exploration, Prime Minister Edi Rama said
on Tuesday.

The previous Democratic Party government, which Rama’s
Socialist-led coalition ousted in June 2013, cancelled the sale two years ago
to a private buyer.

“We will end the long-drawn process of the
privatisation of the state-owned Albpetrol company this year,” Rama said.

“Since the very first day, it was clear to us
Albpetrol was an anachronism and a hybrid that could not meet the challenges of
the future,” he told oil executives.

His audience included representatives of Shell,
already active in Albania, Exxon Mobil, BP, Italy’s Eni , Austria’s OMV and
Croatia’s INA.

Albpetrol is an upstream company only, having sold its
oil refinery four years ago.

Wooing investors, Rama said the government was
determined to “secure a favourable regime for the exploration and
development of oil and gas”, including stabilizing fiscal clauses for the
duration of contracts.

Oil and gas reserves are estimated to amount to 400
million tonnes, of which 40 million are easily extractable, Energy Minister
Damian Gjiknuri said.

Thirteen onshore and offshore blocks can be explored
for oil and gas, Rama and Gjiknuri said. “Very soon we shall start
procedures to give the first three blocks for exploration to interested
companies,” Gjiknuri said.

Albanian law offered attractive fiscal terms during
the exploration period, exempting companies from paying Value Added Tax,
extending the research period from 5 to 7 years and the production time from 25
to 30 years, Gjiknuri said.

Shell and Calgary, Canada-based Petromanas Energy Inc
already operate a well offshore Albania and have said test flows found oil and
gas, but are yet to establish its production capacity.

The well is across the Adriatic Sea from Italy’s
offshore Val d’Agri field which pumps around 85,000 barrels per day. (Editing
by William Hardy)



COOPERATION, ENVIRONMENT IN FOCUS AT ADRIATIC EVENT March 17th, 2015

AER Notice February 2015 Posted on Thu, March 19, 2015 00:10:30

COOPERATION, ENVIRONMENT IN
FOCUS AT ADRIATIC EVENT

March 17th, 2015

Transparency, regional cooperation, environmental protection and fostering competition are crucial principles in defining the Balkan Governments’ approach to the oil and natural gas industry.

This was emphasised by officials from Montenegro, Croatia and Albania who gathered in Budva, Montenegro at the Adriatic Oil & Gas Summit (AOG), which examined the latest opportunities and challenges of the sector in the Adriatic region.

Montenegrin Minister of Economy, Vladimir Kavaric, said that transparency, which is reflected in defining the rules of the game, through laws and enabling regulations and publicly available documents, should be exercised to the maximum extent possible.

He added that Montenegro is aware that it has to compete with other countries devoted to responsible management and efficient use of hydrocarbons.

“We are trying to create the best environment that will attract the best, and we are striving to encourage competition in this business, as we also know that private companies show their best in terms of innovation, approach and delivery, when facing competitive pressure,” Kavaric underlined.

He said that this activity does not recognise national frontiers, as geology does not understand borders.

The officials agreed that success of neighbouring countries was only going to amplify opportunities for each other in attracting companies to take part in this sector.

Exploration of oil and gas in Montenegro so far, as well as activities in the Adriatic, indicate large prospectivity of the region. The basic prerequisites are proven for oil and gas production to take place in the south Adriatic geological basin, while direct confirmation of this fact is the production in Albanian, Croatian and Italian part of the basin.

When it comes to hydrocarbons, there is a requirement for exploration in the Balkans to complement other development policies in place, including in fields such as tourism and environmental protection. Officials emphasized that economic development is not possible without energy development.

Croatian Economy Minister Ivan Vrdoljak indicated that – as an EU member state – Croatia strongly supports the region on its European path, fully aware that the progress is achievable only if there are no outstanding issues with its neighbours.

Minister Vrdoljak commented on the current demands for a referendum on oil and gas exploration, noting that he would support a referendum on how to reduce the number of tankers with imported oil entering the Adriatic, as Croatia wishes to reduce risks and protect the environment, adding there is no possibility to hold a referendum before signing contracts with companies.

Speaking of tourism, the Croatian Economy Minister said that Istra is the most famous tourist destination in Croatia, and that the most gas has been pumped from these areas. He reiterated that Croatia has researched the oil potential of the Adriatic for 40 years, and that the best technologies in the field of environmental protection would be implemented.

Croatia’s obligation, as a member of the EU, was under obligation to implement strict environmental protection standards. If there is any solution from the EU legislation, we will include it, Vrdoljak emphasized.

Albanian Deputy Minister of Energy and Resources Iljir Bejtja told attendees that this country is in the process of introducing hydrocarbon laws which will regulate this area in more detail. He also emphasized that Albania is open to cooperation with all neighboring countries when it comes to natural gas.

“We do not want to be recognized by self-situated philosophy anymore. Albania is lagging behind in the exploration of gas, but the situation will soon be improved”, Bejtja added.

Protests

Delegates to the Summit were met by protesters from environmental NGO’s from Montenegro and Croatia, carrying banners “Stop the drilling of the Adriatic“, “Montenegro Oil Beauty“, etc.

Critics say that the benefits of oil and gas development are outweighed by the potential risks to the environment and the tourism sector.

Natasha Kovacevic, president of the Montenegrin “Green Home“ said that the protesters do not want someone to destroy the idea of an ecological Montenegro.

“We do not want to destroy our environment, our fishing and tourism, for which we have advocated for decades. We do not want to destroy the idea of an ecological Montenegro“, Kovacevic said.



Vienna Forum on European Energy Law unites leading energy experts, 16 Mar 2015

AER Notice February 2015 Posted on Mon, March 16, 2015 18:34:34

Vienna Forum on European Energy Law unites leading energy experts,
16 Mar 2015


The 3nd Vienna Forum on European Energy Law took place
at the premises of the Energy Community Secretariat on 13 March. The Forum,
which is a joint initiative between the Florence School of Regulation and the
Energy Community Secretariat, brought together over 140 experts from energy companies,
regulators, governments, academia and legal firms. The motto of this year’s
Forum was “Markets and Crisis”. The programme included an analysis of the
market design for renewable energy, a focus on the energy hotspot – Ukraine, a
debate on the Energy Union as well as a review of enforcement in the Energy
Community.

In a keynote speech, Professor Helmut Schmitt von
Sydow, who chaired the intergovernmental conference that negotiated the Energy
Community Treaty, retraced the creation of the Community. He argued that in
many ways the Energy Community Treaty is more advanced than the EU’s treaties,
e.g. its mutual assistance clause in case of energy crisis and flexibility in
terms of accepting new members. Yet the Treaty also has its weaknesses,
including the absence of provisions on investment and an inadequate dispute
settlement mechanism. Today the Energy Community was playing a vital role in
the EU’s energy policy space, especially energy security. The future Energy
Union and its relevance to the Energy Community were assessed in the panel that
followed.

Experts discussed options to improve law enforcement
in the Energy Community, including the creation of a regional court of justice
of the Energy Community versus using arbitration tribunals. The former was
preferred as arbitration was generally very costly and a regional court could
deal not just with infringement cases but also have jurisdiction over direct
actions against the legally binding measures taken by the Energy Community
institutions and preliminary references for national courts of the Contracting
Parties. An EFTA Court already functioned in this manner under the Agreement on
the European Economic Area.

In a session that brought together leading experts on
Ukrainian energy policy, the Energy Community Secretariat’s pivotal role in
supporting reforms in Ukraine was recognised. Panellists agreed that 2015 would
be the year when all stakeholders would look towards Ukraine to implement its
reform commitments, including the Third Energy Package, corporatisation of
state-owned companies and the phasing out of energy subsidies. Panellist agreed
that financial assistance to the Energy Community Contracting Parties should be
conditioned on the implementation of the Energy Community acquis.

Deputy Director Dirk Buschle, who chaired the event
together with Leigh Hancher of the Florence School of Regulation concluded:
“One can doubt whether Adam Smith’s invisible hand works when there is a very
visible iron fist holding the energy markets in its grip. The Energy Union will
be successful if it manages to internalize the constant external risks to
Europe’s security of supply. It can and will have to build on the Energy
Community for this.”



Stakeholders give their views on how a future Energy Community should look like, 13 Mar 2015

AER Notice February 2015 Posted on Sun, March 15, 2015 09:24:07

Stakeholders give their views on how a future Energy Community should
look like, 13 Mar 2015

The results of the public consultation which gathered
stakeholders’ views on options for the implementation of proposals made by the
High Level Reflection Group in its report “An Energy Community for the Future”
were published today. A total of 61 submissions was received from a wide mix of
stakeholders, including central government authorities of the Energy Community
Contracting Parties and EU Member States, regulatory authorities and their
regional associations, International Financial Institutions, economic operators
and their associations, EU bodies, Members of the European Parliament, NGOs and
civil society individuals as well as academics.

A clear majority of respondents supported additional
environmental legislation and investment enhancing measures. In addition, EU
rules on public procurement and VAT should become legally binding in the Energy
Community. Competition law enforcement should be made more operational.

The majority of stakeholders also shared the view that
the current law enforcement regime should be fundamentally changed as it cannot
adequately deter the Contracting Parties from violating Energy Community law.
Moreover, EU funding should be conditional on implementation of Energy
Community law. At the same time, Secretariat’s capacities should be
strengthened in order to provide increased assistance in implementation of
legislation and investment projects.

The Energy Community should also engage with a wider
range of stakeholders, including via a consumer platform and a parliamentary
assembly. Civil society organisations should be granted an observer seat in the
Permanent High Level Group.

The Energy Community Permanent High Level Group (PHLG)
will hold a first discussion of the results of the public consultation at its
meeting on 26 March. The PHLG will identify specific reform measures at its
next meeting in June 2015 and submit them for consideration and adoption to the
Energy Community Ministerial Council in October 2015.



CEER Annual Conference 2015, CEER on 29 January 2015

AER Notice February 2015 Posted on Fri, March 13, 2015 18:56:11

CEER Annual Conference 2015, CEER on 29 January 2015

High-level panelists talking about “Unlocking energy market flexibility and demand-side response”



EnC Secretariat questionnaire: Options for Implementation of Proposals on the Future of the Energy Community A EURELECTRIC response paper, March 2015

AER Notice February 2015 Posted on Wed, March 11, 2015 21:36:56

EnC Secretariat questionnaire: Options for
Implementation of Proposals on the Future of the Energy Community

A EURELECTRIC response paper, March 2015

Key Messages


EURELECTRIC believes that extending the tasks and
scope of the Energy Community is over-ambitious until the main task of the
Energy Community – creating an operational regional market as an integral part
of the European internal energy market – is achieved.


EURELECTRIC fully agrees that it is necessary to
improve the investment environment in the region mainly through higher legal
certainty. We recommend incentivising risk sharing facilities and public support
for priority infrastructure.


As for improving the regulatory framework, the
participation of Energy Community countries in existing institutions and
structures, including ACER, ENTSO-E and ENTSOG, is crucial and should be
closely monitored by the European Commission.


There is a need to shape strategy further by providing
dedicated training for key energy decision-makers within the Energy Community
in order to improve competence and share knowledge and information between the
EU member states and Energy Community members.



Eurelectric Contribution to a Reference Model for European Capacity Markets, Position Paper March 2015

AER Notice February 2015 Posted on Wed, March 04, 2015 14:25:23

Eurelectric Contribution to a Reference Model for
European Capacity Markets, Position Paper March 2015

Energy markets today are evolving as Europe continues to pursue its
ambitious low-carbon agenda. Amid the fundamental changes taking place,
EURELECTRIC believes that the full execution of an efficient integrated
European energy market, i.e. the completion of the Internal Energy Market
(IEM), is the cornerstone on which all further market developments should rest.
This includes the implementation of the Third Energy Package and the
integration of wholesale markets across all timeframes.

Energy-only markets remain the reference for the completion of the IEM.
However, as in many markets the introduction of a capacity element is becoming
increasingly important, EURELECTRIC recognises that properly designed capacity
markets, developed in line with the objective of the IEM, are an integral part
of a future market design. Conventional generation, renewable energy sources,
demand response and storage should participate in energy, flexibility and
capacity markets on an equal footing and should be remunerated according to
their contributions to the respective markets.

Proper capacity markets value firm capacity and deliver price signals
that encourage sufficient capacity to stay in the system or else attract
investments for necessary new capacity to be built. Such markets will ensure
that only the capacity strictly needed for long-term system adequacy is
remunerated. They should not provide a safeguard for poor, non-competitive
investments. Moreover, they should reach beyond national borders, optimising
capacity across regions of Europe.

With this paper, EURELECTRIC presents a reference model of how European
capacity markets should be designed to meet the basic principles outlined
above. Most notably, in developing regional capacity markets, attention should
be paid to the following elements:

• Establishing regional capacity markets requires common regional
adequacy assessments;

• Capacity needs should be determined by a homogeneous, transparent
methodology;

• A standard – or at least similar – product definition is needed to
provide a level playing field for all capacity across regions;

• Capacity providers should have the right to free exit, i.e. entitled
to freely decide when to operate/mothball/close down their assets if their capacity
has not been contracted;

• Product details must be adequately defined to meet the goals of the
capacity market: in particular, the lead time and the duration of capacity
contracts are critical for the time dimension of capacity markets. Both should
reflect long-term investment horizons where such investment is needed to achieve
long-term system adequacy;

• Penalty regimes for unavailability of contracted assets should
incentivise capacity providers to deliver appropriate firmness. Such penalty
regimes should be established according to common principles;

• Coordination requirements for transmission system operators (TSOs)
should be clear, as TSOs should be jointly responsible for managing
infrastructure in a way that allows contracted assets in capacity markets to
optimally contribute to the security of the regional systems;

• Capacity should always be valued in a competitive market. Capacity
prices should be allowed to move freely without distortive price regulation.

Cross-border participation in capacity markets should be seen as a
stepping-stone towards regional capacity markets. It should therefore be
established quickly. To this effect, EURELECTRIC supports a cross-border
participation model where the market participant is the cross-border capacity
provider and the product being traded cross-border is availability.

EURELECTRIC believes that the following set of key principles for
cross-border participation in capacity markets should be respected:

• All capacity market participants should be subject to common
requirements and coherent market rules (e.g. regarding certification, penalty
regime, availability requirement, etc.);

• Participating with the same capacity in more than one capacity market
during the same contract timeframe should not be possible (no double commitment
and earnings);

• TSOs should offer a certain amount of cross-border participation,
based on nondiscriminatory conditions and only limited by objective physical
limitations (to be approved by national regulatory authorities and ACER);

• TSOs should not be allowed to neglect existing cross-border capacity
contracts in situations of system stress.

No reservation of cross-border capacity should be introduced in order
not to interfere with the functioning of the forward, day-ahead, intra-day and
balancing markets, which will determine the actual direction of the energy
flow. These fundamental principles, coupled with a regional approach to
capacity markets, deliver security of supply cost-efficiently and in a market
oriented way.



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