Thursday, 17 April 2014

Questions (161)

Marcella Corcoran Kennedy

Question:

161. Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the reasons for the delay regarding decisions on the single energy market; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18342/14]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

The Single Electricity Market (SEM) is the wholesale electricity market for the island of Ireland, regulated jointly by the Commission for Energy Regulation (the CER) and its counterpart in Belfast, the Utility Regulator. By combining what were two separate jurisdictional electricity markets, the SEM became one of the first of its kind in Europe when it went live on 1st November 2007. The SEM is designed to provide for the least cost source of electricity generation to meet customer demand at any one time across the island, while also maximising long-term sustainability and reliability.

The decision-making body which governs the market is the SEM Committee, consisting of the CER, the Utility Regulator as well as an independent member (who also has a deputy), with each entity having one vote. The Electricity Regulation (Amendment) (Single Electricity Market) Act 2007 provides the legal framework for the establishment and operation of a single wholesale electricity market on the island of Ireland. The detailed rules of the SEM are set out in the Trading and Settlement Code, which is overseen by the SEM Committee. I have no function in the decision-making of this statutorily independent, cross-jurisdictional committee body nor am I aware of any egregious delays in the SEM Committee decision-making process.

Questions Nos. 162 and 163 answered with Question No. 160.