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Competition in European Electricity Markets

A Cross-country Comparison

Edited by Jean-Michael Glachant and Dominique Finon

This book focuses on the diversity of electricity reforms in Western Europe, drawing evidence from ten European Union memberstates plus Norway and Switzerland as associate members. The contributors analyse the various ways of introducing competition in the European electricity industries, and consider both the strategies of electricity companies and their behaviour in electricity marketplaces. They also offer an explanation of the differences of reforms by the institutions and the industrial structures of each country which shape the types of marketrules, industrial restructuring and public service regulations which have been adopted.
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Chapter 12: Electricity Sector Restructuring in Belgium

Aviel Verbruggen and Erwin Vanderstappen


Aviel Verbruggen and Erwin Vanderstappen INTRODUCTION In the first part of the chapter we offer a survey of the organization of the Belgian Electricity Sector. This part starts with some data on electricity flows in Belgium. We then depict the regulatory framework prior to the adoption of the EU Directive 96/92 and the implementing Federal Electricity Act of 29 April 1999 (hereinafter the Electricity Act). Special attention is devoted to the scattered energy competencies among the federal, regional and local public authorities. Finally, we discuss the structure, ownership and supervision of the electricity supply sector. In the second part we describe and assess the new regulatory framework. The main issues of the Electricity Act are discussed and critically commented on. They encompass regulation, generation planning, investment and licensing for new construction plans, transmission network operator, network access and eligibility, unbundling of accounts, public service obligations and stranded costs. To a great extent the December 1999 report and recommendations of the Working Group of Experts on Electricity Liberalization reflect these comments while adding others. In its turn, the Report and Recommendations have been incorporated in the federal government’s Guidelines for finalizing liberalization of the electricity market, that were implemented by the federal law of 16 July 2001. ORGANIZATION OF THE BELGIAN ELECTRICITY SECTOR Main Data on the Belgian Electricity Sector Belgium is a parliamentary democracy with a constitutional monarch. Federalization took place in consecutive reforms. Since 1993 Belgium is officially a federal state composed of three regions (the...

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