Updated: Sept. 25, 2012 (Initial publication: April 11, 2012)

Sectorial Analysis

II-5.13: The Mediterranean association of regulators of electricity and gas (MEDREG) examined the infrastructure investment proposals issued by his task force.

by mamadou@noos.fr

http://www.thejournalofregulation.com/spip.php?article1409

Translated summaries

The translated summaries are done by the Editors and not by the Authors.

ENGLISH

The 12th General Assembly of the Association of Mediterranean Regulators for Electricity and Gas (MEDREG) was held at the headquarters of the Greek Regulatory Authority of Energy (RAE), on 14 December 2011. On this occasion, members of MEDREG have approved the initial proposals made by the Task Force devoted to investments in energy infrastructure, aiming to stimulate investment in the Mediterranean region. The MEDRED also exercises regulatory powers similar to those of ACER.

FRENCH

La 12ème Assemblée Générale de l’Association des Régulateurs Méditerranéens de l’Electricité et du Gaz (MEDREG) s’est tenue au siège de l’Autorité grecque de Régulation de l’Energie (RAE), le 14 décembre 2011. A cette occasion, les membres de MEDREG ont approuvé les premières propositions émises par la Task Force consacrée aux investissements dans les infrastructures énergétiques, ayant pour objectif de stimuler les investissements dans la région de la Méditerranée. La MEDRED exerce en outre des pouvoirs de régulation analogues à ceux de l’ACER.


Other translations forthcoming.

Themes

Context and Summary

MEDREG is an association of the Energy Regulators from twenty countries of the Mediterranean, including Algeria, Morocco, Israel, Greece, Turkey or Egypt. It promotes a transparent regulatory framework, stable and harmonized through a strong cooperation between the Mediterranean states.

The 12th General Assembly welcomed the political and economic weight:

§ Representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM). The WFP is a regional intergovernmental organization which holds observer status with the United Nations General Assembly. France is a member. This organization plays a fundamental role in the region to promote security, stability and peace in the Mediterranean;

§ Representatives of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD);
§ Members of the Association of Managers of the Mediterranean Network of Transmission of Electricity (METSO). Launched at the initiative of Sonelgaz, national energy operator in Algeria, the association led the relationship between electricity operators from both shores of the Mediterranean, and thus represents an independent speaker for MEDREG.
On this occasion, the discussions focused on the proposals made by the Task Force devoted to investments in energy infrastructure.

This working group was established at the 9th General Assembly of MEDREG held May 28, 2010, in Malta. This Task Force was presented as an observatory infrastructure projects. Its mission is to evaluate the energy infrastructure projects planned in member countries MEDREG, depending on the nature of energy (gas, electricity) and their national or regional significance. After assessing the relevance of projects, the observatory should identify possible actions to MEDREG, in partnership with governments and institutional funding.

In a more general MEDREG aims to support initiatives by industry players to give a real boost to the energy market in the Mediterranean basin. For this, MEDREG posted three goals: to encourage the creation of independent regulators in each member country, facilitate information exchange between national regulators and promote actions and concerted approaches between regulators in order to create a true networking. Beyond the national regulators, MEDREG wishes to develop the partnership between the regulators of its members and the European Union (EU). This partnership between the EU and would MEDREG a way likely to increase energy investments in the Mediterranean basin.

The work of this observatory was expected because upstream, a process of cooperation with the European Investment Bank (EIB) was launched in 2008, then suspended in view of these reflections. These discussions in this 12th General Assembly will likely boost this cooperation project between the EIB and MEDREG. This movement is the realization of the efforts of MEDREG Development of infrastructure investment in the region of the Mediterranean basin.

Indeed, during the 12th General Assembly MEDREG, discussions including reported financial support from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), whose representatives were present. Certainly, the EBRD wants to expand its investments in the Mediterranean region. Since its inception in 1991, the EBRD is the largest investor in the region stretching from central Europe to central Asia. The Mediterranean basin is a new market to conquer. In its press release, MEDEREG announced a possible investment of the EBRD about 2.5 billion per year in this region.

Brief commentary

The central role of MEDREG in the integration of energy markets in the Mediterranean is confirmed.

The 12th General Assembly was an opportunity to prepare the conditions most favorable to the existence of a regional energy market, harmonized and efficient. Implicitly, MEDREG wants to make the region of the Mediterranean basin more attractive to house more energy infrastructure, and new foreign investors.


This goal is served by regulatory powers vested in MEDREG, even though it is not a true regulator. Indeed, one can consider as the regulatory powers of the authority to issue, recommendations and opinions, especially in assessing the adequacy of infrastructure projects. This power is important because it infringes on the discretion of member States of MEDREG, which therefore had the opportunity in full appreciation of investment projects. This regulatory power also results from the power to enact legal norms, which the national regulatory authorities should be subject. We must also consider the requirement for these States to cooperate with MEDREG in the direction of greater harmonization.


Creating MEDREG and the role it has assumed in the regulation of energy upset the established order in this region. Indeed, the energy sector is considered highly sensitive, strategic, and even politics. In most member States MEDREG, production of energy is also devoted exclusively to the State. The evolution of the national authorities in the direction of regional cooperation, through MEDREG, operates a truly complementary, and allows national authorities to give a more regional dimension in their decisions. This complementarily does not take place without concession. National authorities concede some of their sovereignty, hitherto exclusively in this sector. In return, MEDREG work for the existence of a genuine Mediterranean energy.


Similar goals are pursued by the European regulators in the energy sector (ACER) in Europe.
Indeed, ACER is responsible for:

 promote cooperation between national regulatory authorities at regional and community;
 monitor progress in implementing the ten-year plans to develop the network;
 monitoring internal markets in electricity and natural gas, including the retail prices of electricity and gas network access, including access to electricity from energy sources renewable, and the rights of consumers.


Thus the ACER assesses the energy infrastructure projects, and encourages investment capital. Indeed, the third package "internal energy market", which includes the Regulation No. 713/2009, empowers including ACER propose "framework guidelines" to promote the development of wholesale markets gas in Europe. Since the eighteenth Madrid Forum held in September 2010, which brought together the European Commission, national regulators, the member States and industry, has given rise to the Gas Target Model. This model underpins a global vision in the European energy sector, which is now encouraging the conclusion of short-term projects to reduce the economic dependence of investors.

It was around a Gas Target Model that will probably move MEDREG after the discussions launched through its task forces, like the ACER. For this, MEDREG determine the appropriate infrastructure projects for the region. Upstream MEDREG shall provide its best efforts, in close cooperation with local authorities, to ensure security of foreign investments in the region. For now, the regional authority does not disclose the components of its policy of harmonization and cooperation. Arguably, however, that MEDREG working in this direction, especially since it has established a close collaboration with financial institutions, without which the construction of a regional energy market would not be possible. Therefore there must be classified MEDREG the preferential and essential among governments in the region of the Mediterranean Basin and institutional funding agencies.


N.B. Sources and links:
Press Release - MEDREG:
Mediterranean Association of Regulators for Electricity and Gas (MEDREG): http://www.medreg-regulators.org/portal/page/portal/MEDREG_HOME
Agency regulators in the energy sector (ACER): http://ec.europa.eu/energy/gas_electricity/acer/acer_en.htm
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD): http://fr.ebrd.com/pages/homepage.shtml
Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM): http://www.pam.int/
European Investment Bank (EIB): http://www.eib.org/?lang=fr
Managers Association of the Mediterranean Network of Transmission of Electricity (METSO): http://portail.cder.dz/spip.php?article1407.

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