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Capacity Withdrawals in Electricity Wholesale Markets – Competition & Regulation

In this podcast, Panagiotis Tsangaris, alumnus of the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, discusses the competition law and regulation issues that arise as a result of capacity withdrawals in the electricity wholesale markets, exploring the application of Article 102 TFEU and the terms of Regulation 1227/2011 (REMIT).

In electricity wholesale markets, market power is mainly exercised either by withdrawing generation capacity (physical withdrawal) or by pricing it above competitive levels (economic withdrawal) in order to achieve a higher market price and, thereby, increase revenue. Inevitably, capacity withdrawal practices can be damaging for both the market and consumers. Thus, the ability of competent authorities to intervene against practices of physical and economic withholding of capacity is crucial. As with any other form of market abuse, the physical and economic withholding of capacity is subject to the application of competition law, in particular Article 102 TFEU. In addition, Regulation 1227/2011 on wholesale market integrity and transparency (REMIT) also enhances transparency in wholesale energy markets and prohibits any acts of market manipulation on wholesale energy markets and may be turned to in order to deal with capacity withdrawal practices. Panagiotis Tsangaris discusses the scope and application of both, as well as the roles of ACER and the NRAs in monitoring the markets, the definition and geographic delineation of the markets in an increasingly interconnected and integrated market across Europe, and the challenges of determining market dominance.

For more, you can see Panagiotis Tsangaris’ recent publication.