Everyone alone for himself.:
Guest Commentary by Dipl.-Ing. Walter Boltz, E-Control GmbH
The gas crisis in January 2009 has shown clearly the risks for a secure supply of energy. For the domestic consumers there is only a relatively small difference between actual scarcity and exploding prices because of price agreements of the supplier countries.
Security of energy supplies means after all a sufficient offer of energy at affordable prices. The energy supply of a state is always subject to certain risks. It is the task of risk prevention to find flexible and cost-efficient answers for the different risk scenarios.
During the gas crisis we saw that often only parts of the European Union will be affected by restrictions. If there is enough transport infrastructure available and if the markets are integrated, then market mechanisms should suffice already to make energy flow where it is needed most badly.
In that case explicit crisis mechanisms are not needed. Unfortunately Europe has not (yet) created the conditions required for this. When there are problems, everyone is still left to his own devices. A common energy policy of the EU states will be necessary to master the risks of a continuously increasing import dependency for primary energy. Market integration is a prerequisite so that the EU member states can act together when it comes to security of energy supplies.