The Electricity (Supply) (Amendment) Act 1988 facilitated the ESB in participating in joint ventures and other arrangements. Consultation with the Minister was required. It was empowered to sell products and substances and engage in manufacturing. The ESB’s exemption from rates was removed.

Electricity (Supply) (Amendment) Act 2004increase the statutory borrowing limits for the ESB to 6 billion to assist it in undertaking a major investment in infrastructure. The borrowing limit had last been updated 1982 and almost trebled the pre-existing permitted maximum.

European Communities (Internal Market In Electricity) Regulations 1998 gave effect to Directive 96/92/EC on the common rules for the internal market in energy. This sought to open up the energy sector progressively to competition.

It modified the statutory monopoly of the Electricity Supply Board. It modified the (1927 Act) legislation governing permits to conform with the directive’s requirements.

Electricity Regulation Act 1999 (Establishment Day) Order, 1999 established the Commission for Electricity Regulations (now the Commission for Regulation of Utilities) under the Electricity Regulation Act 1999

The Electricity Supply Board was to prepare a grid code and distribution code for the operation of those systems to be approved by the Commission. They will provide for technical matters regarding connection to and operation of the systems as licensed to authorisation and licence holders. The ESB must offer to enter an agreement with the licence authorisation holder or an authorised customer (those eligible in the initial phases) regarding connection to and use of these systems. The Commission may give directions in relation to the matters to be provided for in those agreements.

The ESB was required to prepare a statement setting out the basis for the charges for connection for use of the systems. It is also to be available to other prospective entrants to allow them ascertain the basis of which they might be charged and enter the market and be charged accordingly.

The provisions of the Electricity (Supply) Act 1927 were amended to remove the power of ESB to authorise and permit generation distribution and supply of electricity by other undertakings. The power is vested in the Commission.

Powers  to compulsorily acquire land for the purpose of structuring and reconstructing power stations is vested in the Commission which may confer it on the ESB or other authorisation licence holders. Powers  relating to laying and use of electricity cables which lay  exclusively with ESB may with the consent of the Commission be exercised by holders of plant authorisations.

Regulations made by ESB may be applied to other electricity undertakings and eligible customers. Future regulations made by ESB are subject to the consent of the Commission.

Electricity (Supply) (Amendment) Act 2001 facilitated the prospective privatisation of the Electricity Supply Board.

The Electricity Regulation Act 1999 (Eligible Customer) Order 2002extended the amount of the electricity market open to competition approximately 40%.

The European Communities (Internal Market in Electricity) (Amendment) Regulations 2002 required ESB to make resources available to ESB National Grid business unit and Eirgrid until the transfer arrangements under the European Communities (Internal Market in Electricity) Regulations 2000 came into effect.

The Electricity Regulation Act 1999 (Public Service Obligations) Order 2002 applied public service obligations on ESB to use and purchase turf renewables sustainable and alternative electricity sources. It provided a levy to compensate the additional costs complying with these obligations.

The Electricity Regulation (Amendment) (EirGrid) Act 2008 provided that EirGrid is the national transmission system operator. It was carved out of the ESB and was empowered to construct and maintain an East West UK interconnector. The legislation provided for authorisation by CER (CRU) for this purpose

The European Communities (Internal Market in Electricity) Regulations 2006 set out requirements pursuant to Directive 2003/54 for common rules for the internal market in electricity. The European Communities (Internal Market in Electricity) Regulations 2009 give further effect to the directive. An authorisation may provide that the licence applicant or the distribution operator arranges for the construction of the connection to a generating station in which event the connection shall be vested in the relevant party.

The Electricity Regulation (Amendment) (EirGrid) Act 2008 provided that EirGrid is the national transmission system operator. It was carved out of the ESB and was empowered to construct and maintain an East West UK interconnector. The legislation provided for authorisation by CER (CRU) for this purpose.

REMIT Regulation 1227/2011 is designed to prevent market abuse in the wholesale markets in energy products. Energy prices are subject to complex factors involving the interaction of supply and demand which is subject to the possibility of manipulation or anti-competitive behaviour.

In the context of cross-border supply of energy, the Regulation seeks to create transparency and prevent abuse. It applies to wholesale energy products including

• contracts for the supply of electricity or natural gas where delivery is in the Union;
• derivatives relating to electricity or natural gas produced, traded or delivered in the Union;
• contracts relating to the transportation of electricity or natural gas in the Union;
• derivatives relating to the transportation of electricity or natural gas in the Union.
• Contracts for the supply and distribution of electricity or natural gas to final consumers with a capacity of more than 600 GWh per year.

The ESB (Electronic Communications Network) Act 2014 allows ESB to provide installation and operation of electronic communication networks and services. It may do so by itself or in partnership with other bodies.

The Act allows ESB to allow other companies to have access to its electricity infrastructure. The electric line definition is broadened to include electronic communications infrastructure attached to the electricity network

The statutory wayleave powers by the ESB (requiring payment of compensation in most cases) extends to the installation of electronic communications infrastructure along the electricity network. The exercise of these rights are subject to the approval of CER (CRU).

The European Communities (Internal Market in Natural Gas and Electricity) (Amendment) Regulations 2015 restate the rules for the internal market in gas. They provide for funding rules for the gas and electricity transmission systems. They provide for certification procedures to be applied to transmission system operators. They enhance the independence of the CER (CRU after the 2016 Act).
The Energy Act 2016 widens the definition of the single electricity market to facilitate the project that brings the single electricity market into full EU compliance. Compliance with new EU cross-border trading electricity codes, to enable closer integration with European electricity markets, is the responsibility of the Governments of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

The previous rules governing the existing all-island wholesale electricity market, the single electricity market, were not compatible with these new EU trading codes. Therefore, both Governments tasked the SEM committee with developing new market arrangements for the all-island wholesale electricity markets. The new market is called the integrated single electricity market, I-SEM.

The Act increases penalties for breach of the REFIT rules.

The Integrated Single Electricity Market (I-SEM) commenced in October 2018 Ireland is linked with the EU states and Great Britain. The market rules apply to 5 separate markets

The forward markets
The capacity market
The balancing market
The day ahead market
The intraday market which offers three intraday options

The forward market is a financial market only.

I-SEM replaced the single electricity market which commenced in 2008. All electricity above 10 MW generated imported was to be sold in or purchased from the SEM. Bids for generation were made daily to form a single island wide system at marginal price.

The revised market provides a more sophisticated framework and is linked with other markets through Great Britain. This is facilitated Ireland participating in the EU internal energy market..

Regulation (EU) 2019/943, the Recast Electricity Market Regulation” and Directive 2019/944 the “Electricity Directive”, update the EU single market rules. They seek in particular to allow electricity to move freely across borders without competitive distortions. They require competitive flexible consumer focused non-discriminatory markets. There is to be free choice of supplier.

Prices are to be market based. Third parties are to be allowed access to the market and infrastructure. There are to be transparent regulatory procedures in connection with the public service obligation.
The regulatory authorities of Ireland and Northern Ireland manage the all-Ireland I-SEM electricity market.

The Single Electricity Market Committee which makes decision for the all island energy market published a roadmap to Clean Energy Package Implementation requiring setting out actions required to bring the Irish market in conformity with the EU requirements. Action is required in relation to capacity through
remuneration mechanisms
market parameters
regional coordination centres

EU Regulation (EU) 2019/941 provides detailed rules on how transmission system operators and others should cooperate in the event of an emergency in which there was significant electricity shortage. Risk preparedness measures were required.


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