De Vries, L.J.; H.M. de Jong, M.L.C. De Bruijne; H. Glavitsch and H.P.A. Knops: Liberalisation and Internationalisation of the European Electricity Supply System, pp. 37-83. In: Critical Infrastructures at Risk, Securing the European Electric Power System, Ch. 3. Topics in Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality, Vol. 09. [s.l.]: Springer, 2006. Eds.: Gheorge, A.V.; M. Masera; M.P.C. Weijnen and L.J. de Vries. ISBN: 1-4020-4306-6. International Bookchapter
The electricity infrastructure is one of the most finely meshed infrastructures in existence. In Europe, nearly every home and building is connected to it because electricity is essential to the functioning of modern society. Without electricity, the standard of living would be set back by a century and it would become impossible to perform most economic activities.
The electricity infrastructure is undergoing rapid changes. This chapter describes the impact of two trends: liberalisation (in Section 3.2) and internationalisation (Section 3.3). Both trends have significantly altered the institutional structure of the European electricity supply system. Section 0 describes the challenges to maintaining system security in the new environment. Section 3.5 summarises the conclusions. A third important trend, the increasingly pervasive use of information and telecommunication technology, is discussed Chapter 4.
In order to understand these trends and their repercussions for the electricity infrastructure, a significant part of Chapter 3 is devoted to developing a structural analysis of, first, individual electric power systems and, second, how the European system of connected electric power systems is organised and functions. For this purpose, there will be a brief discussion of the technical characteristics of electric power systems, but the main subject of this chapter is the changing roles and responsibilities of the actors in the electricity industry.
This book focuses on European electric power systems. Politically and geographically, the boundaries of Europe are not well-defined. For the purpose of this book we will consider the territory of the electricity networks that are part of the Union for the Co-ordination of Transmission of electricity (UCTE), plus the United Kingdom, Ireland and Scandinavia.
While not all European countries are members of the European Union, each of the above areas contain EU member states. Due to the strong physical relations between electricity systems, therefore all European electric power systems are affected by the liberalisation policy of the EU.