Midway assessment Julius Rumpf - Bridging the gap: The role of interconnectors in an emerging European Energy Union
PhD candidate Julius Rumpf at the Scandinavian Institute of Maritime Law is presenting his PhD project for midway assessment.
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Bridging the gap: The role of interconnectors in an emerging European Energy Union
This event will be held in English.
The assessment is conducted in accordance with UiO's guidelines for midway assessments. The assessment consists of an open seminar (ca. 90 min.) and a closed meeting (ca. 30 min.). The following roles are present in closed meeting: the institute leader or representative, supervisor and the commentator/s. If preferred, the candidate may also be present.
Commentator: Dr Lucila de Almeida, Assistant Professor at Wageningen University & Research
Supervisor: Professor Henrik Bjørnebye, Scandinavian Institute of Maritime Law, University of Oslo
The evaluation is led by Ola Mestad, Head of Department, Scandinavian Institute of Maritime Law, University of Oslo
About the candidate
Julius Rumpf is a research fellow at the Nordic Institute of Maritime Law. He previously worked as a lawyer in Berlin, Germany, at an international law firm for energy law. Rumpf studied law in Potsdam and Berlin, and Zaragoza, Spain. He regularly publishes on energy law topics in international peer-reviewed journals. More information is available on the personal page of Julius Rumpf.
About the dissertation
In pursuit of more efficient energy prices, increased security of supply and more sustainable power production, the EU has endeavoured for decades to create a pan-European market for the free trade of electricity across borders. However, connections between the national energy markets are still insufficient to make this vision of an ‘Energy Union’ a reality.
In his PhD thesis, Julius Rumpf examines how EU law on the electricity sector in order to identify factors that impede progress towards the internal electricity market. The analysis focuses on interconnectors as critical pieces of infrastructure, where the remaining obstacles to market integration are most apparent. The overarching objective is to discuss whether the current regulatory framework establishes effective mechanisms and measures to overcome these impediments, and to propose possible legal remedies where this is not the case.
The dissertation is motivated by the question why electricity market integration has not proceeded as planned. On the one hand, this can be due to practical challenges. Sufficient transmission capacity, both in the national power systems and between these, is a prerequisite for a European internal electricity market. Hence, it is necessary to use existing infrastructure as efficiently as possible, while also ensuring sufficient investment in new infrastructure, including interconnectors. In this context, the transition towards ‘greener’ energy systems based on decentralised energy production create novel challenges for the electricity sector. Politically speaking, the sector is an explosive subject, and EU energy law is faced with the challenge to conciliate between the Member States, but also powerful private actors, in order to resolve conflicts and control particular interests.
At the same time, EU energy law itself is creating problems. The legal framework for the electricity sector is constantly undergoing fundamental changes to meet these practical challenges. Thus, after 25 years of working towards a liberalised electricity sector, this sector is today characterised by a remarkable degree of regulation. The rules for the electricity sector have reached numbers and a level of intricacy that must be called overwhelming. Nevertheless, there is reason to suspect that the rules on crucial areas of the sector remain vague and lack punch. To test this hypothesis, the dissertation scrutinises the newest generation of EU energy law under the so-called ‘Clean Energy Package’. Moreover, the analysis encompasses the European network codes, which constitute a dense and highly complex framework of harmonised, detailed and legally binding technical rules for the electricity sector.
The dissertation aims to answer three research questions:
- Are EU rules on capacity maximisation on existing infrastructure complete and sufficiently clear-cut?
- How does EU law regulate interconnector investment and ownership?
- Does the EU’s governance strategy for the electricity sector ensure that conflicts between the different actors are resolved effectively, so that energy policy goals can be met?