Ireland’s energy regulators to probe trading rules before full liberalisation

Speaking at a conference in London organised by RiskNews' sister publication Energy & Power Risk Management, Cagney said market liberalisation alone is not sufficient. Instead, the move towards liberalisation should be married with well-thought-out principles for creating a robust forwards and spot market trading regime, “avoiding excessive regulation and compliance costs".

Cagney added that full liberalisation of the Irish electricity market should be completed by February 2005. At present, state-owned ESB commands an 80% share of the market. But the company has made public statements that it intends to reduce this dominance to 60% during the next five to 10 years - although this promise is not a binding commitment, Cagney noted.

The CER has yet to decide which trading arrangements will be implemented but it will not be along the lines of the bilateral contract market which exists in the UK, Cagney said.

A UK-inspired New Electricity Trading Arrangements type structure will not be suitable for Ireland’s electricity market, because, unlike the UK, Ireland is not a large market where a number of plants supply significant percentages of market demand, Cagney said.

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