26 May 2015

Energy Regulation

'European Energy Regulators: An Empirical Analysis of Legal Competences' (University of Groningen Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 2015/24) by Thijs Jong and Edwin Woerdman offers an empirical examination of
whether differences in legal competences of National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) of European gas and electricity markets are rationally aligned to the corresponding countries’ divergent levels of 1) security, 2) competitiveness, and 3) carbon-neutrality of energy supply. Scores are derived (a) on the extent to which these energy supply characteristics are realized and (b) on how many competences NRAs have regarding these policy objectives. Although higher energy scores should reduce the need for regulatory intervention and thus legal competences, it appears that this does not hold for most policy objectives. In fact, gas and electricity market unbundling and/or liberalization imply higher degrees of regulatory intervention. Finally, the legal competences do not completely follow the 'optimal' competence arrangement for regulatory authorities; compared to a theoretical benchmark there are relatively more 't