On 21 Feb 2020 Sofia hosted the First Seminar of the KEP (Know-How Exchange Programme) Project “Central European Initiative Support for Strengthening Energy Regulatory Authorities in the Western Balkans”. The main goal of the project is to support the NRAs of the Western Balkan countries in harmonizing the regulatory framework with the EU legislation in terms of regional electricity markets development and integration. EWRC hosted the seminar as a participant in the Third phase of the project delivering know-how. Attendees were representatives of the national regulatory authorities (NRAs), of the TSOs and the nominated electricity market operators (NEMO) of Italy, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, the Republic of Serbia, Montenegro and Albania.
Integration and market coupling processes in the countries of Western Balkan 6 have great importance not only for the countries themselves, but for the whole European single energy market, stated the EWRC member Aleksander Yordanov at the seminar opening. The common EWRC, ESO EAD and IBEX presentation acquainted the participants with the Bulgarian experience in the coupling project of the Bulgarian electricity market with the single European intraday market (Single intraday coupling - SIDC) and in particular, the stages, activities and challenges within the market coupling project between Bulgarian and North Macedonia market zones. From Italian side the national regulatory authority ARERA, the transmission system operator TERNA and the market operator GME presented the procedures, project phases and target models of the regional market coupling.
At an earlier bilateral meeting between EWRC and ARERA representatives, EWRC member Aleksander Yordanov emphasized that bilateral cooperation has a significant role to play in accelerating regional energy market integration processes, with a view to creating the single electricity and natural gas European market. To that end, the two national regulatory authorities have yet to draw up a synergy plan and coordinate their joint action in support of the Western Balkan countries efforts to align their national regulatory frameworks with the requirements of European legislation. Mr. Stefano Saglia, member of the ARERA Board, expressed his gratitude to EWRC for hosting the Project Third phase seminar and noted that the Bulgarian practical experience in ongoing market coupling projects with non EU member-states like North Macedonia is very useful within the context of the challenges faced by the market coupling in the Western Balkan region. Aleksander Yordanov briefed the Italian party on the goals, objectives and activities of the Balkan Advisory Forum created in 2018, pointing out that the idea behind this initiative is in line with the objectives of the KEP Know-how Exchange Programmе.