Electricity market indicators
From Statistics Explained
- Data from March 2013. Most recent data: Further Eurostat information, Main tables and Database.
This article takes a look at electricity markets in the European Union (EU), presenting recent statistical data on the number of electricity generating and retailing companies across EU Member States (except Greece), Norway, Croatia, FYR of Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey.
Main statistical findings
During the period 2003-2011, the number of main (main = market coverage above 5 % of national electricity generation) electricity generating companies in the European Union fluctuated between 80 and 89 companies (including an estimated figure for 2011 for Greece), without a clear up- or downward trend. Compared to 2010, the total number of electricity retailers increased in 2011 with 121 (small) companies, being the highest number during the last six years.
Electricity markets - generation and installed capacity
The information in Table 1 refers to the number of companies representing at least 95 % of net electricity generation at national level.
In 2011, the number of electricity generating companies representing at least 95 % of national net electricity generation remained limited to five or fewer in six EU Member States. The number includes however an estimated figure for Greece for 2011. Spain did not report a number for this indicator.
Between 2010 and 2011, the number of electricity generating companies representing at least 95 % of national net electricity generation remained stable in 10 EU Member States but increases could be observed in 12 Member States, while the number went down in Bulgaria, Ireland, France and Portugal (Spain & Greece did not report this indicator; Denmark, the Netherlands and Germany provided approximate figures).
Table 2 displays the number of main companies that have a market coverage for at least 5 % of the total national net electricity generation.
Eight EU Member States declared only one single enterprise to have a significant share of electricity generation at national level in 2011. In the UK there are seven and in Romania, Lithuania and Bulgaria six electricity generating companies of considerable importance.
In Portugal the number of electricity generators with a share of over 5 % of national generation increased by two units in 2011 compared to one year earlier.
The number of main enterprises at EU-27 level decreased from 88 companies in 2008 to 81 companies in 2009 but increased again in 2011 to 89 companies.
Figure 1 displays the cumulated shares of companies in a given country having a share of at least 5 % of their respective national markets, both with regard to the electricity actually generated in 2011 and the installed capacity of the generating power plants.
Cyprus and Malta report a monopoly situation where one single company is responsible for the totality of electricity generation, and thus the installed capacity.
Table 3 displays the market share of the largest generator in the electricity market in 2011 in percentage of national production. Apart from Malta and Cyprus, where only one electricity company dominates the national production, figures above 80 % for the largest electricity generators are observed in Estonia (87.0 %), Latvia (86.0 %), France (86.0 %) and Luxembourg (82.0 %). For Greece where the largest generator used to have a market share of about 85% in 2010, data for this indicator was not reported for 2011. A size of the largest generation company on national level below 25 % can be observed in Poland (17.8 %), Lithuania (24.9 %) and in Spain (23.5 %). The market share of the largest generator for Bulgaria, Germany, Greece and the Netherlands were not reported.
Member states also provided information on new installed electricity generation capacity during 2011. From Table 4 it can be concluded that the new installed capacity increased from 38 173 MW in 2010 to 42 257 MW in 2011 (excluding data for Greece and Czech Republic). Decommissioned capacity (excluding information for Greece and Czech Republic) was reported to be 15 575 MW. The total new installed capacity increased at EU-27 level in 2011 by 27 034 MW (net values; Czech Republic only reported the net increase of 352 MH)). The most significant change in new installed capacity was reported by Italy (nearly 12 000 MW net). In nearly all EU countries, the installed capacity went up or remained identical, except in the UK where it decreased by 1311 MW as the decommissioned capacity exceeded the new installed capacity.
Electricity markets - retail
EU Member States (and Croatia, Norway, FYROM, Serbia and Turkey) also reported information concerning the retailing (sales) sector.
Table 5 presents information on the total number of retailers that sell electricity to final customers. When looking to the number of main retailers (retailers are considered as "main" if they sell at least 5 % of the total national electricity consumption), the figures remain stable since several years.
Eight main companies can be found in Slovenia and six in Bulgaria, Hungary, Austria, Poland and in the UK. Most significant changes were observed at the Romanian retailing market where the number of main retailers went down between 2010 and 2011 from eight to five companies. Markets where only one main company is dealing with the sales of electricity are registered in Estonia, Greece*, France, Cyprus, Latvia and Malta. Table 6 excludes information from Denmark, as data was not provided from 2007 onwards.
Figure 2 illustrates the number of main electricity retailers to final consumers and their cumulative market shares for all EU Member States (except Denmark who did not supply this information), plus Norway, Croatia, FYROM, Serbia and Turkey. If one looks to the remaining market, which is the market that is covered by non-main retail companies that have a market coverage of less than 5 %, this market for "minor" retail companies is the largest in Germany (58.0 %) followed by Italy (54 %) and Sweden (50.4 %). The market for "minor" retail companies is below 25 % in 16 out of 24 EU countries that reported this information.
Data sources and availability
The information used to create this article was collected on the basis of a questionnaire "Competition Indicators for the electricity market 2011".
All EU Member States (except Greece) plus Norway, Croatia, the FYROM, Serbia and Turkey returned the questionnaires to Eurostat but sometimes information for individual indicators were either not reported for confidentiality reasons or simply because the data was not available.
The reporting was done on a voluntary basis.
Since July 2004, small business consumers in the EU have been free to switch their gas or electricity supplier, and in July 2007 this right was extended to all consumers. Independent national regulatory authorities have been established across the Member States to ensure that suppliers and network companies operate correctly. However, a number of shortcomings were identified in the opening-up of markets, and it was therefore decided to embark upon a third legislative package of measures with the aim of ensuring that all users could take advantage of the benefits provided by a truly competitive energy market. The European Commission launched its third legislative package to liberalise energy markets in September 2007. These proposals were designed to: create a competitive energy market; expand consumer choice; promote fairer prices; result in cleaner energy; and promote the security of supply. During 2009, a number of these proposals were adopted by the European Parliament and the Council.
- Regulation 713/2009 of 13 July 2009 establishing an agency for the cooperation of energy regulators;
- Regulation 714/2009 of 13 July 2009 on conditions for access to the network for cross-border exchanges in electricity and repealing Regulation 1228/2003;
- Directive 2009/72/EC of 13 July 2009 concerning common rules for the internal market in electricity and repealing Directive 2003/54/EC.
Further Eurostat information
- European electricity market indicators 2008 - Statistics in focus 11/2010
- Panorama of energy: energy statistics to support EU policies and solutions - 2009 edition
- Energy (t_nrg), see:
- Main indicators - Energy Statistics (t_nrg_indic)
- Market share of the largest generator in the electricity market (tsier060)
- Electricity generated from renewable sources (tsien050)
- Energy Statistics - quantities (t_nrg_quant)
- Total gross electricity generation (ten00087)
- Electricity generation by origin: hard coal (ten00088)
- Electricity generation by origin: petroleum products (ten00089)
- Electricity generation by origin: natural gas (ten00090)
- Electricity generation by origin: nuclear (ten00091)
- Electricity generation by origin: hydroelectricity (ten00092)
- Electricity generation by origin: wind (ten00093)
- Consumption of electricity by industry, transport activities and households/services (ten00094)
- Electricity consumption of households (tsdpc310)
- Energy Statistics - prices (t_nrg_price)
- Electricity prices by type of user (tsier040)
- Electricity prices for large industrial standard consumers (ten00105)
- Energy Statistics - prices (t_nrg_price)
- Electricity prices for industrial consumers (ten00114)
- Electricity prices for household consumers (ten00115)
- Energy (nrg), see:
- Main indicators - Energy Statistics (nrg_indic)
- Market share of the largest generator in the electricity market (nrg_ind_331a)
- Energy Statistics - Euro-indicators in energy - monthly data (nrg_ind_34m)
- Supply of electricity - monthly data (nrg_ind_342m)
- Energy Statistics - quantities (nrg_quant)
- Supply, transformation, consumption - electricity - annual data (nrg_105a)
- Supply - electricity - monthly data (nrg_105m)
Methodology / Metadata
- Energy Statistics (ESMS metadata file - nrg_indic_esms)
- Energy Statistics - quantities (ESMS metadata file - nrg_quant_esms)
Source data for tables and figures on this page (MS Excel)
- Regulation 713/2009 of 13 July 2009 establishing an Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators
- Regulation 714/2009 of 13 July 2009 on conditions for access to the network for cross-border exchanges in electricity
- Directive 2009/72/EC of 13 July 2009 concerning common rules for the internal market in electricity
- Eurelectric - Electricity for Europe - Statistics
- European Commission - Energy - Gas & Electricity - Electricity Regulatory Forum (Florence)
- European Commission - Energy - Market observatory - Electricity