Fully integrating the EU electricity market could cut bills by at least €2 per MWh, and thus save users up to €40 billion a year by 2030, say MEPs in a non-legislative resolution voted on Tuesday. But to achieve this, EU countries need to invest €150 billion to interconnect their national grids, they add.
"A better interconnected EU electricity grid is key, both for more renewables and thus achieving climate goals, but also to make Europe more competitive through cheaper electricity prices", said rapporteur Peter Eriksson (Greens/EFA, SE).
Investing enough to ensure that at least 10% of the electricity produced by each EU member state’s power plants can be sent across its borders to neighbours should create a strategically “more resilient and robust network", says the text. The current EU target of 10% by 2020 target is "valuable", but "does not always reflect the market situation, as "twelve member states...remain below (the 10% target) and are thus largely isolated from the internal electricity market", it adds.
MEPs ask that by 2030 the latest, "ambitious and evidence-based complementary interconnection targets" should be agreed by region, based on various parameters, as "open access and the availability of interconnectors" are "imperative" to remove barriers to the functioning of the EU electricity market.
Procedure: Non-legislative resolution
The EU accounts for 53% of world energy imports, at an annual cost of €400 billion
In Europe wholesale electricity prices are 30% higher, and wholesale gas prices over 100% higher, than in the US
Source: European Commission press release 25.02.2015