Stefan Ulreich, Ph.D.
The electricity markets in Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom have been liberalized and have developed into very important marketplaces—especially due to the high relevance of electricity for different consumer groups. Similarly, other European countries have developed their electricity markets as a consequence of the European Union (EU)-wide liberalization, leading to a continuous growth of international electricity trading. The integration of new EU-member states will enhance the development of a European energy market.
The trading volumes for electricity and gas in Europe are still increasing. Estimates of the trading volume in 2005 by the European Federation of Energy Traders (EFET)1 for the German power market were over 2,500 TWh2, that is, roughly five times the consumption of electricity in Germany. Volumes in the United Kingdom for the same year were also 2,500 TWh and in the Scandinavian region about 2,000 TWh. EFET estimates that the total European electricity and gas turnover for the year 2004 was about €600 billion. The sector inquiry of the EU showed a further increase of trading activity: In Germany over 650% of the annual national consumption was traded and in the Nordic Region over 550% of the annual consumption. At the European Energy Exchange (EEX), based in Leipzig and viewed as a Central European benchmark exchange for electricity, the turnover ...