Individual State aid cases
The Guidelines on State aid for environmental protection and energy (EEAG) 2014-2020 adopted in July 2014 for the first time contain criteria for the Commission to apply when assessing capacity mechanisms. A list of all cases adopted under the EEAG is given below, sorted by the year in which the latest decision on each scheme was adopted:
- France – Country-wide capacity mechanism – SA.39621
- Germany – Interruptibility scheme AbLaV – SA.43735
- Germany - Network Reserve - SA.42955
- Greece – Transitory electricity flexibility remuneration mechanism (FRM) – SA.38968
- United Kingdom – Supplementary Capacity Auction – SA.44475
- France – Tender for additional capacity in Brittany – SA.40454
- Ireland – Irish capacity mechanism: reliability option scheme – SA.44464
- United Kingdom – Northern Irish capacity mechanism: reliability option scheme – SA.4446
- Greece - New Greek transitory flexibility mechanism - SA.50152
- Belgium – Belgian strategic reserve – SA.48648
- France – Specific demand response tender in France – SA.48490
- Germany - German capacity reserve – SA.45852
- Greece – Prolongation of the Greek interruptibility scheme – SA.48780
- Italy – Italian capacity mechanism – SA.42011
- Poland – Polish capacity mechanism – SA.46100
- Lithuania – Strategic Reserve – SA.44725 and SA.45193
- Italy – Modification of the Italian capacity mechanism – SA.53821
- United Kingdom – Capacity Market – SA.35980
An increasing number of Member States are taking action to secure their electricity supplies and prevent potential black-outs by introducing capacity mechanisms.
Capacity mechanisms are measures taken by Member States to ensure that electricity supply can match demand in the medium and long term.
Capacity mechanisms are designed to support investment to fill the expected capacity gap and ensure security of supply. Typically, capacity mechanisms offer additional rewards to capacity providers, on top of income obtained by selling electricity on the market, in return for maintaining existing capacity or investing in new capacity needed to guarantee security of electricity supplies.
Capacity mechanisms have an impact on competition in the internal electricity market. Many of these mechanisms involve State aid, so they are subject to EU State aid rules. The European Commission has launched a sector inquiry, established a Working Group with Member States and started individual assessments of Member States' capacity mechanisms on the basis of the Guidelines on State aid for environmental protection and energy 2014-2020 ("EEAG")
On 29 April 2015, the European Commission launched a State aid sector inquiry into national capacity mechanisms. The decision initiating the sector inquiry is available in three languages: en / fr / de
The inquiry aims at gathering information on capacity mechanisms to examine, in particular, whether they ensure sufficient electricity supply without distorting competition or trade in the EU Single Market. It complements the Commission's Energy Union Strategy to create a connected, integrated and secure energy market in Europe.
The European Commission on 13 April 2016 adopted its interim report consolidating the findings and tentative conclusions of the sector inquiry into capacity mechanisms.
The interim report (available in bg cs da de el en es et fi fr hr hu it lt lv mt nl pl pt ro sk sl sv).
The interim report was open for public consultation between 13 April 2016 and 6 July 2016
The Commission adopted the final report on the results of the sector inquiry on 30 November 2016
The final report (available in: bg cs da de el en es et fi fr hr hu it lt lv mt nl pl pt ro sk sl sv).
The Staff Working Document accompanying the final report is available in en
The press release that accompanied the final report is available in all languages here
Working Groups with Member States
The Guidelines on State aid for environmental protection and energy 2014-2020 (EEAG) contain for the first time rules to assess capacity mechanisms (Section 3.9 of the EEAG). As this is a relatively new field in State aid policy, the Commission has established a Working Group with Member States to help them implement the relevant provisions in the Guidelines and to share experience in the design of capacity mechanisms. The context of the discussions is reflected in thematic papers developed by the Commission (DG Competition). An overview of the different workshops can be found below, along with the papers and slides presented in each meeting.
First Working Group – 22 January 2015
- Assessing generation adequacy and the necessity of capacity mechanisms
- The participation of non-generation activities, demand-side, and storage in generation adequacy measures
Second Working Group – 14 April 2015
- Designing appropriate obligations and penalties
- Designing a competitive bidding process, and ensuring competition between new and existing capacity
Third working Group - 30 June 2015
- Cross-border participation
- DG Competition draft paper and presentation
- Frontier Economics – Cross border participation in capacity mechanisms
- France - Consultation on an explicit participation
- Eurelectric - A reference model for European capacity mechanisms
- Overview of different capactiy mechanism models
Fourth working Group - 15 June 2016
- Discussion on the interim report of the sector inquiry
- DG Competition – presentation
- Discussion on cross border participation in capacity mechanisms
28-09-2015: capacity mechanisms in Europe
With the support of DG Competition, King's College London and the College of Europe at Bruges organised on 29 September 2015 in Brussels the conference "Capacity mechanisms in Europe: The fundamental issues behind the ongoing sector inquiry". The conference provided a valuable input to the ongoing sector inquiry. For more details and the full programme click here .
The presentations are now available:
Keynote speech by Margrethe Vestager, European Commissioner for Competition: "Securing electricity supply in the EU: How to optimise public support"
Session 1 - Which market design is more appropriate for Europe: energy only market or a given form of capacity mechanism?
Chairman: Klaus-Dieter Borchardt, Director DG Energy, European Commission
Jamie Carstairs, Linnfall Consulting, Edinburgh
Carlos Batlle, Comillas Pontifical University IIT, Madrid
Mike Hogan, Senior Adviser, The Regulatory Assistance Project, London
Fabien Roques, Partner CompassLexecon, Paris
Session 2: If a capacity mechanism, which design is most appropriate?
Chairman: Massimo Merola, President GCLC
Rickard Nilsson, Project manager, Nord Pool Spot
Robin Cohen, CRA Vice-President, London
Thomas Veyrenc, RTE Director, Markets department, Paris
Dan Monzani, Head of Security of electricity supply team, DECC, London
Andrea Villa, Senior Analyst in Energy & Regulatory Affairs, Enel S.p.A, Rome