2011 Speech Revisited—Whither the “Fourth Gas Package” for the EU: Dealing with Paralysis in Europe’s Gas Industry

Thu Dec 08 15:34:59 EST 2016
By Dr. Jeff D. Makholm

Five years ago, in 2011, NERA Managing Director Dr. Jeff D. Makholm anticipated gas market problems in the EU in a keynote speech for Cambridge University’s Energy Policy Research Group. He noted that huge gas and pipeline entry barriers, low investment, high cost, and an explosion of invasive and unproductive agency work would all serve to impede progress in the EU gas market. Moreover, he detailed why the “Third Energy Package” and resulting Gas Target Model (GTM) were more effective at promoting industry cartelization than fostering competition for gas as a low-carbon fuel, and that Europe’s gas consumers would soon enough look for a “Fourth Energy Package.” Five years later? He was correct. The GTM has virtually paralyzed Europe’s gas industry.