On 17 November 2016, the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) adopted its decision, under Regulation 2015/1222 on Capacity Allocation and Congestion Management (CACM Regulation) on the electricity transmission system operators’ proposal for the determination of capacity calculation regions (CCR Decision). The CCR Decision is one step on the way to establishing capacity allocation by means of flow-based market coupling as envisaged by the CACM Regulation. It is, at first sight, a highly technical decision based on a highly technical regulation. It is not the type of decision which one would generally expect to make headlines. Yet, this is precisely what the CCR Decision has been making in the German-speaking world, and in particular in Austria. The reason for the public attention to a seemingly technical decision is contained in Article 5 of Annex I to the CCR Decision, where ACER introduces a bidding zone border between Germany and Austria. This split of the German-Austrian wholesale electricity market, which had formed a single bidding zone since 2001, is expected to lead to a significant increase in wholesale electricity prices in Austria. The Austrian Chamber of Commerce estimates that prices may increase by about 15%; media reports even warn of a price increase of up to 30%. This expected price increase of a commodity which is of central importance to industry and consumers explains the attention which the CCR Decision has received.
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