On Friday, December 7, the European Commission announced that it has adopted a decision rendering legally binding commitments offered by German grid operator TenneT to significantly increase cross-border flows of electricity between Denmark and Germany. TenneT will ensure that a specific guaranteed capacity is available at all times.
Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said, “Our decision to impose binding obligations on TenneT to increase capacity on the electricity interconnector between Denmark and Germany will allow more electricity producers to access the German wholesale market. This is fully in line with our ambition to make the European energy market more competitive and integrated, and to facilitate the EU’s transition to cleaner, renewable energy sources to the benefit of consumers.”
The Commission opened a formal investigation on March 19, 2018, to assess whether TenneT infringed EU antitrust rules by systematically limiting southward capacity at the electricity interconnector between Western Denmark and Germany.
The Commission had concerns that through this behavior TenneT discriminated against non-German electricity producers. This conduct prevented the export of cheap electricity from the Nordic countries, where it is largely generated from renewable energy sources (mostly wind and hydro) to Germany, leading to less competition between electricity producers on the German wholesale market and therefore higher electricity prices.