Regulation (EU) 2019/941 on risk-preparedness in the electricity sector

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Series Details L 158
Publication Date 14/06/2019
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Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 June 2019 on the prevention, preparation for and management of electricity crisis situations.

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The purpose of this Regulation, proposed in November 2016 by the European Commission, is to ensure that all Member States put in place appropriate tools to prevent, prepare for and manage electricity crisis situations. The initiative was adopted as part of the Commission's 'Clean Energy for all Europeans' package.


Even where markets and systems function well, the risk of an electricity crisis as a result of a variety of circumstances (e.g. extreme weather circumstances, malicious attacks including cyber-attacks, a fuel shortage) cannot be excluded. In addition, given that electricity systems are integrated, where crisis situations occur, they often have a cross-border effect. Some circumstances (e.g., a prolonged cold spell or heat wave) might affect several Member States at the same time and even incidents that start locally they may rapidly spread across borders.

Currently, Member States behave very differently when it comes to preventing, preparing for and managing crisis situations. National rules and practices tend to focus on the national context only, disregarding what happens across borders. In addition, there is very limited sharing of information and transparency in Member States' preparations for and handling of electricity crisis situations. For instance, when realising that their electricity systems might be under serious stress in the months ahead, Member States often take action in conjunction with their transmission system operators (TSOs), without systematically informing others.

This situation is the result of a regulatory gap. The current EU legal framework (Directives 2005/89/EC and 2009/72/EC) only sets general objectives for security of supply, leaving Member States to decide how to achieve these. In particular, while the rules allow Member States to take ‘safeguard measures’ in crisis situations, they do not set out how Member States should prepare for and manage such situations. The current legislation no longer reflects the reality of today’s interconnected electricity market, where the likelihood of crisis situations affecting several Member States at the same time is on the rise.

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Commentary and Analysis
EPRS: Briefing, June 2018: Risk-preparedness in the electricity sector [EU Legislation in Progress]

EUR-Lex: COM(2016)862: Proposal for a Regulation on risk-preparedness in the electricity sector
EUR-Lex: SWD(2016)410: Impact assessment
EUR-Lex: SWD(2016)411: Executive summary of the impact assessment
EUR-Lex: SWD(2016)412: Evaluation report
EUR-Lex: SWD(2016)413: Executive summary of the evaluation report

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