De Jong, H.M. and R.A. Hakvoort: Interconnectors as Gateways to the European Electricity Market. In: Proceedings of the Conference of The European Electricity Market - EEM-04: Challenge of the Unification, (Lodz, 20th-22nd Sept. 2004), Lodz: Instytut Elektroenerggetyki Politechniki Lodzkiej, 2004. ISBN: 83-914296-6-0. pp. 39-48.
In this paper, the role of interconnectors is considered within their full context. It is shown that an interconnector is more than a technical link between national electricity networks. In fact, interconnectors are ‘high-voltage links that couple national electricity systems in its broad technical, economic, environmental and social sense and facilitate international compe-tition’ . Within the developing regional markets interconnectors are actually transforming into intraconnectors which are defined as ‘inter-connectors within a integrated market under a common regulatory regime’. Designing a regulatory framework that guarantees optimum operation and use of interconnectors is a significant challenge considering the versatile role of the interconnector, its technical com-plexity and the complex regulatory environment of the European electricity mar-ket. The specific role of interconnectors asks for a certain level of supranational or multina-tional regulation. Although a general classification based on the involved ‘actor’ can be made, the specific issue determines which regulatory approach is most suitable. As for interconnectors many issues have already been identified but not all have yet been prop-erly addressed. As well as various technical issues there exist significant market-related and environmental issues. A high level of cooperation of all parties involved will prove indispensable to effectively tackle these strongly interdependent issues within a robust regulatory framework.