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Energy competitiveness concerns raised by employers federation

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Concerns over discrimination in favour of the electricity authority (EAC) and a single buyer market were raised on Friday by the employers and industrialists’ federation (Oev).

The federation said in a statement that the state’s policy towards the promotion and installation of storage capacity in conjunction with renewable energy sources (RES) raises issues of stifling competition.

“The policy framework of the ministry of energy, trade and industry [which was] announced on July 14 to strengthen the construction and operation of energy storage facilities in combination with RES projects (hybrid facilities) creates an immediate and serious risk regarding the establishment and operation of [a] competitive electricity market,” the Oev statement said.

Energy Minister George Papanastasiou last week partially explained how incentivisation of EAC consumers towards a ‘hybrid’ system would function.

The ministry through the proposed scheme introduces unjustified and disproportionate discrimination in favour of the dominant EAC, leading in practice to the implementation of the single buyer model, Oev said.

The implementation of this model, in addition to the collapse of transitional electricity market regulation, will make the competitive electricity market obsolete, Oev claimed.

“The policies implemented by the ministry must facilitate and not undermine the transition to the competitive electricity market,” Oev said in its statement.

Moreover, the ministry should encourage the development of competition and not strengthen the dominant business, either directly or indirectly, the employers’ federation said.

“The benefits that would accrue from the establishment of a genuinely competitive market with meaningful choice for consumers would far outweigh any short-term benefits from continued market regulation,” the Oev added, saying:

“We call on the ministry to review its general policy framework regarding the enhancement of energy storage facilities and align it with the legislative framework and approved electricity market arrangements.”

 

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