Chapter

Third Party Access Exemption Policy in the EU Gas and Electricity Sectors: Finding the Right Balance between Competition and Investments

Tjarda van der Vijver

in Energy Networks and the Law

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199645039
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738647 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199645039.003.0018
Third Party Access Exemption Policy in the EU Gas and Electricity Sectors: Finding the Right Balance between Competition and Investments

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The interests between free competition and upholding investments in energy networks may not always be aligned. New infrastructures can be particularly susceptible to this dilemma, as investors often prefer limited or no contestability on their networks. The European regulatory framework for gas and electricity tries to create a balance in this situation. It demands access for third parties (which should support competition) while at the same time enabling an exemption for new infrastructures from this requirement if certain conditions have been met (which should encourage investment). This chapter examines how the relevant legislation and decisional practice deals with this conundrum. It focuses in particular on the balance the European Commission attempts to strike between luring investments and ensuring unimpaired competition. The analysis attempts to discern common themes and developments in the Commission's decisional practice.

Keywords: free competition; energy network investments; energy regulation; third party access; European Commission

Chapter.  9725 words. 

Subjects: Environment and Energy Law

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