Joint venture to manage cross-border flows in Northern Europe given green light

27 August 2008 – A joint venture involving transmission system operators from Germany, Denmark and Norway has been given the green light by the Commission, opening up the North European electricity market.

The venture, called the European Market Coupling Company (EMCC), aims to ‘couple’ the electricity market between Germany and the Nordic countries. It will seek to offer congestion management services for cross-border electricity transmission as well as provide for secondary trading of transmission rights.

EMCC encompasses three transmission system operators (TSO): Germany’s E.ON and Vattenfall Europe Transmission GmbH and Denmark’s Energinet. It also involves two energy exchanges: Norway’s Nord Pool Spot AS and Germany’s European Energy Exchange.

The Commission has long pushed for the liberalisation of the EU electricity market, but at present Europe’s grids remain largely centralised.

An impact assessment carried out by the EU executive in 2007 highlighted the lack of investment in cross-border power transmission and coordination between national TSOs. This merger aims to go some way towards alleviating the problem.

The joint venture is due to be finalised by 29 September.