Barriers to energy market integration in Europe
The latest ACER-CEER Market Monitoring Report (MMR), whose wholesale and retail volumes were published on October 6, shows that for electricity wholesale markets the limited amount of cross-zonal capacity made available for trading by TSOs is one of the most significant barriers to further market integration in Europe. Ensuring the equal treatment of internal - within bidding-zones - and cross-zonal exchanges, as well as increasing the level of TSO coordination, are utmost priorities to overcome this situation.
Gas markets are working better in terms of hub functioning and price convergence, but the situation is diverse geographically. Important barriers remain in some Member States, in particular in South-East Europe, negatively affecting market functioning and liquidity. The gas network codes, where implemented, bring a positive impact.
The downward trend of wholesale energy prices (both electricity and gas) continued in most of the EU in 2016. Retail prices are also showing more and more a downward trend. For electricity for industrial consumers and for gas, this has already been the case for a couple of years, but this now also extends to electricity household prices.
This MMR also covers the Energy Community Contracting Parties for some retail and gas wholesale topics, thanks to the support and cooperation of the Energy Community Secretariat. Industrial electricity and gas prices in these countries tend to be higher than household prices, with an upward trend for households and a downward one for industrial consumers.