Answer to Written Question: European electricity system: towards an energy shortage?

(Source: European Parliament)



Answer given by Ms Simson

on behalf of the European Commission


Security of electricity supply is of paramount importance for society and essential for achieving the European Green Deal’s objectives.  EU legislation requires to ensure secure operation of the networks and stable supplies at all times. European generation adequacy assessments[1] are regularly conducted. Where adequacy concerns are identified, additional measures[2] may be taken.  In this context, the Commission has launched a consultation[3] based on the French market reform plan submitted on 28 April 2021, to issue a subsequent opinion that will be made public. In addition, Regulation (EU) 2019/941[4] provides for cooperation between Member States with a view to preventing, preparing for and managing electricity crises in a spirit of solidarity and transparency. Risk preparedness plans need to be submitted by all Member States, including France.

Altogether, while absolute protection from supply interruptions is impossible, the Commission has no indication that high shares of renewable energies[5] and growing cross-border exchanges will increase this risk.  Conversely, cross-border exchanges of energy in the internal market significantly contribute to security of supply, as different regions automatically support each other to overcome difficult supply situations. Continental Europe benefits from a fully interconnected electricity grid – the largest in the world – which allows to transport electricity where it is most needed.  EU rules ensure well-functioning electricity markets and systems, also in times of cold spells or other situations of scarce electricity. A dense legislative framework on joint grid operation, emergency planning and restoration has been put in place, also as a reaction to system stress events in Europe in 2003 and 2006.

[1] possibly complemented by national assessments

[2] possibly including capacity mechanisms



[5] as already present in several Member States today

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