EU Third Energy Package

In 2009, the EU adopted a set of legislative documents, known as the Third Energy Package, to open, regulate and steer the gas and electricity markets within and between member states.

The aims of the package include energy security, economic efficiency, and environmental improvements, including reducing air pollution and meeting the EU’s obligations to combat climate change through decarbonisation of the energy market. The package aims to accelerate investment in energy infrastructure and the diversification of energy sources. In order to reduce the market concentration to a small number of large companies in each member state, the EU proposes to establish an alternative system based on ownership unbundling, independent system operators (ISO) and independent transmission operators (ITO). Ownership unbundling refers to removing a barrier to the development of a sustainable energy system in the conflict of interests inherent within generation companies which are also owners of transmissions networks. The third energy package proposes to open the market by separating generation from transmission, through amongst other measures the establishment of National Regulatory Authorities (NRA), coordinated by the centralised Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER).