The energy crisis dominated the session on market design, with speakers emphasising the need to keep short-term measures separate from long-term structural reform.
Introducing the session, Wytse Kaastra – Managing Director for Utilities and Energy Transition Europe, Accenture – described the market as being at the heart of the energy system. He said it was “mission critical to get it right”.
In his keynote, Simone Mori, Enel Group’s Head of Europe, said: “What we believe is very important to focus on now is the long term. We are facing a turning point.”
On the issue of rising costs for consumers, Mr Mori said customers are suffering due to gas prices defining the majority of other costs of energy.
Elsewhere, Paula Pinho, DG ENER’s Director of Just Transition, Consumers, Energy Efficiency and Innovation, pointed out that the electricity market has delivered benefits: flexibility, security and choice. Moreover, it reduced costs by €34 billion last year.
But she acknowledged that the market is being tested and customers should be protected.
While the Commission has put short-term measures in place, including the introduction of the toolbox and vouchers, she said the discussion has since moved on to the medium and long term.
But Christophe Gence-Creux,Head of Department – Electricity & Chair of Market European Stakeholders Committee, ACER, expressed concern over short-term measures. He said that there was no silver bullet to market design challenges. Furthermore, he said that short-term interventions can have long term distortive impact and destroy investment.
If any, it should be about targeted support measure towards customers.
This sentiment was echoed by Monique Goyens, Director General of BEUC, who said that while her organisation welcomed the toolbox, some of the measures are rushed. She added that in addition to being inefficient, the measures can be unfair because they are not sufficiently targeted.
Ms Goyens’s advice was to “engage in positive discrimination and make sure the vulnerable consumers are well-supported”.