The Energy Charter Treaty plays an important role as part of an international effort to build a legal foundation for energy security. What have your key successes been over the past 20 years? The Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) was signed in December, 1994, and entered into legal force in April, 1998. Today, it includes 54 members and more than 30 observers. The Treaty applies to all energy forms (oil, gas, electricity, nuclear, coal, and renewables) and to all stages of the supply chain (resources, production, transport, trade, consumption, and energy efficiency). The fundamental aim of the Energy Charter Treaty is to strengthen the rule of law in the energy sector by promoting regulatory stability and market confidence, thereby mitigating energy investment and trade risks. There are several institutions which promote energy co-operation, but the Energy Charter Treaty is the only one established as a legally-binding multilateral instrument. Multilateral rules, such as those within the ECT, provide a balanced and effective framework for international co-operation and for strengthening domestic policies. The Charter provides a policy platform between its signatories and observer states to discuss political and legal aspects of energy reforms. The key success of the International Energy Charter over the last 20 years is the fact that the Energy Charter Treaty has significantly improved and stabilised the functioning of the energy markets of our Member States. The Treaty has been also instrumental in providing necessary investment protection under international law to foreign investors. Since the Energy Charter Treaty entered into force, we have observed a rapid growth of investments within our constituency. The Treaty contains a system for settling [...]
As a representative of a key player in European gas transmission, how would you define the continent’s major challenges in this field? Key challenges in the current European midstream market lie in dealing with continuous changes in the patterns of natural gas flow, in reaction to the commissioning of largescale projects like Nord Stream. A very important step in this process was, inter-alia, implementation of the physical reverse flow possibilities in the countries in Central Europe, which currently, enables natural gas to be delivered to Southern Europe, via the Nord Stream and OPAL pipelines, utilising physical reverse flow, via the Czech and Slovak systems, or reverse flow deliveries to Ukraine. Possibilities of this kind are still not available in the Balkan region, which faces high import dependency on a single natural gas source and transmission route. High dependency on such a level is certainly the biggest problem of the natural gas segment of the SEE countries. Security of gas and energy supplies is high on the European agenda. What steps – in terms of legislation – should be undertaken to achieve considerable progress in this matter? After the natural gas crisis in 2009, security of energy supplies became the key priority of the EU’s energy policy. Focus is applied, mainly to the development of new infrastructure, which is able to enhance energy security, in the most impacted regions. In this respect, EU legislation, oriented on identification and support of Projects of Common Interest is very helpful, however, we are of the opinion, that legislation should be stricter, to prohibit development of infrastructure, which is aimed at the bypassing of [...]
The recent report by Roland Berger, with contributions from CEEP experts, analyses specific energy transmission projects, which together constitute the backbone of the North–South Corridor. Heiko Ammermann, the paper’s co-author, spoke to the CEEP Report following the report’s launch in Krynica, on what is needed to make these projects happen. In your recent report, you recommend establishing a regional North-South Corridor co-ordination platform. How will this body support the project’s development and completion on time? We have found that what is missing to make the Corridor happen is an effective, operational working body which tackles political, regulatory, and financial roadblocks at the same time. To get projects off the ground, we need to bring together the relevant stakeholders, and make sure everybody does their ‘fair share’. Therefore, we propose a platform which advances the corridor on two different levels. On the policy level, it will work towards creating investment-friendly regulatory and political frameworks. This includes making available public financing for strategic Corridor projects with a less favourable business case. On the project level, the platform will provide practical origination support on a case by case basis. It will support feasibility studies, flesh out project proposals with the responsible TSOs, and match projects with potential financiers to realise the Corridor’s implementation step by step. Based on your analysis, there appears to be a gap between market-based financing potential and aspirations underlying the Corridor. How should this balance be tipped? This gap stems from the fact that certain projects in the Corridor mainly make sense from a strategic, or even a geopolitical security of supply perspective, whilst their commercial viability is [...]
The North–South Corridor is the key enabler for completing the European integration process. The report by Roland Berger Strategy Consultants presents the enormous political, economic and social benefits that this energy infrastructure would bring to the whole continent. For this to happen, a “piece-by-piece” approach, with preferred access to funding and constant dialogue with national regulators, governments and the European Union institutions, is indispensable. The report, titled “Making it happen. Paving the way for the Central European North–South Infrastructure Corridor”, was presented at the Economic Forum in Krynica, Poland. Its authors and contributors underlined that realising key components of the Corridor before the end of the decade should be a joint commitment of the European Commission, national governments, and transmission system operators, as well as supporting financiers. “The report shows a roadmap with an outlook on the key building blocks required for this joint undertaking. It also paints a realistic picture of commercial financing options and private-sector involvement. We believe the Corridor should be realised piece-by-piece, as supply and demand develop in relevant markets. This would allow some projects to be built on a market-based business case and financed through national operators, using established funding and financing instruments,” Paweł Olechnowicz, Chairman of the Board of Directors of CEEP, declared. Parts of the Corridor will not be feasible through purely market-based mechanisms. In such cases, preferred access to funding from public budgets is required. “In this context, dialogue is needed between national regulators and transmission system operators, in order to create favourable regulatory environments, prioritise Corridor projects, and find financial leeway to make them happen without delay. We recommend establishing [...]
A fundamental transformation of Europe’s energy sector is needed in order to provide EU Member States with secure and affordable energy. This is the main conclusion of the ‘Completing Europe – from the North–South Corridor to the energy, transportation and telecommunications union’ debate that took place on April the 21st in Katowice (Poland). Panellists representing both European energy markets and public institutions expressed their support for the North–South Corridor proposal from the recently-published Central Europe Energy Partners (CEEP) and Atlantic Council report. The report’s main recommendation is to create an integrated set of energy, transportation and digital links across Central Europe. As perceived by CEEP and the Atlantic Council, the network should stretch from the Baltic to the Adriatic and Black Seas. Its energy component features a gas pipeline from Świnoujscie (Poland) and Klaipeda (Lithuania) to Krk Island (Croatia), with proper LNG facilities. Other key energy projects include a set of Balkan interconnectors that reach into Serbia, Macedonia, Bulgaria and other nations, as well as the East–West Corridor Gas line that stretches from Germany through Poland and into Ukraine. The North–South Corridor is needed, not only for the sake of energy security, but also for diversified energy sources at affordable prices. “As the Central Europe Energy Partners, we understand that access to competitively priced energy is one of key drivers of the economic growth. With both energy producers and energy-intensive industries on board of our organization, we work hard to empower consumers by providing them with choice and creating flexibility to manage demand and supply. The network of energy lines, transportation routes and telecommunication links that we envision stretches [...]
We represent the widely understood Central Europe energy sector (electricity generation, distribution and transmission, renewables, gas, oil, heat generation and distribution, chemical industries, etc.), universities and scientific institutions.