Framework for Regulatory Oversight for the Regional Energy Market Developed

The Eastern-Africa, Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean (EA-SA-IO) is developing a framework for regulatory oversight for the regional energy market to guide cross border power trading. The final report of the framework has now been presented to the COMESA Regional Association of Energy Regulators for  Eastern and Southern Africa (RAERESA) by the Consultants contracted to undertake the assignment.

The framework covers five Regional Economic Communities (RECs), including Easter African Community (EAC), Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and their specialized energy agencies, association of energy regulators, power pools and centres for renewable energy and energy efficiency for consideration.

COMESA /RAERESA Chief Executive Officer Dr Mohamedain Seif Elnasr said in Lusaka that this activity is part of the European Union (EU) funded project on Enhancement of a Sustainable Regional Energy Market in the EA-SA-IO Region. Among the key areas of focus is harmonization and environmental sustainability.

On harmonization of regulations, the report recommends that priority areas should include licensing guidelines, regulations for license applications and processing by national and regional regulatory bodies, and standard license conditions for generation, transmission, distribution, import/export and system operation.

The report further recommends harmonization of network regulations including transmission connection/use of system agreements, network tariffs, grid code and associated technical standards. It advocates for harmonization of market access regulations, market surveillance regulations and dispute resolution procedures.

Measures to address environmental sustainability through the regulation of the regional energy market are also proposed. These include encouraging renewable energy generation facilitating regional interconnection and increased focus on supply side and demand side energy efficiency.

Regulations that help to address these issues include defining procedures to cover integrated resource planning, transmission expansion planning, and strategic environmental assessment.