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Policy shifts hinder EU integrated network plan

Recent policy shifts implemented by a number of European Union (EU) member states have cast doubt on the bloc’s plan to integrate its gas and power networks into a common energy market by the end of next year

“We won’t have a common market by 2014,” Klaus-Dieter Barbknecht, from German gas supplier VNG said. The Czech Republic’s vice minister of energy and industry, Pavel Šolc, echoed Barbknecht’s concerns, saying unilateral energy policy decisions “worked against the market”.

Achieving a fully integrated network will first require the EU to reduce its dependence on foreign suppliers, Bruno Lescoeur, chief executive of Italy’s Edison said. He added: “Europe should do its best to maximise domestic supply”.

For some member states, particularly the UK, Belgium and Germany, time is of the essence, Alistair Buchanan, chairman of KPMG’s power and utilities practice, warned. He added if member states cannot reach agreement on how to integrate the energy network, he says individual governments will have to play some more “improv jazz” to resolve their current energy security concerns.     

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