Monday, 02 January 2012 15:14

The changing role of the State in Portugal’s energy markets - Rui Pena Arnaut & associados

Energy-45The changing role of the State in Portugal’s energy markets

El gobierno portugués está introduciendo una nueva normativa que regule el sistema energético para reflejar el cada vez inferior papel cada vez inferior que tiene en este sector, afirma Mónica Carneiro Pacheco, de Rui Pena Arnaut & Associados en Lisboa.

In light of the “Troika” agreement outlining the terms of its €78bn finance assistance package, the Portuguese Government is privatising major energy assets including power company EdP and distribution network REN. Beyond these high-profile sales lies a deeper issue though; the State also has to radically overhaul its regulatory approach to the energy market.

Mónica Carneiro Pacheco, co-Head of Energy at Rui Pena Arnaut & Associados in Lisbon, points out that the privatisations are in line with a wider EU trend encouraging a reduction in the role of the State as an operator in energy markets. 

In essence, the State has to move from being the “manager” of sections of the energy sector to being solely its “regulator”. The change does not therefore mean the absence of the State.

“In a European context, in which essential activities such as the supply of electricity and natural gas are performed by private entities, the intervention of the State through regulation setting is essential. It has to create obligations to which the operators are obliged respect while also guaranteeing consumers’ rights.”

This will mean a distinct change of emphasis for the Portuguese Government. Through its stakes in companies like EdP and REN it had given a subtle hand to guide the market. Now the Government must entrust energy provision wholly to the private sector and be prepared to merely regulate the way entities operate.

“Since electricity and natural gas networks are natural monopolies, the presence of the State is essential to prevent market abuse and anti-competitive behaviour,” asserts Carneiro Pacheco.

It is too early to know exactly what form the proposed regulations will take, but things should become clearer once the privatisations have progressed, she believes. “What is already apparent is that the Government will need to take a new approach and have to be comfortable in its new role.”

This website uses cookies

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the IberianLawyer website. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time. Learn more

I agree

What do I need to know about cookies?

A cookie is a small text file that’s stored on your computer or mobile device when you visit a website. We use them to:

  • Remember your preferences
  • Tailor our sites to your interests.

There are different types of cookies

First party cookies

These are set by the website you’re visiting. And only that website can read them.  In addition, a website might use a separate company to analyse how people are using their site. And this separate company will set their own cookie to do this.

Third party cookies

These are set by someone other than the owner of the website you’re visiting. 

Some IberianLawyer web pages may also contain content from other sites like Vimeo or Flickr, which may set their own cookies. Also, if you Share a link to a IberianLawyer page, the service you share it on (e.g. Facebook) may set a cookie on your browser.

The IberianLawyer has no control over third party cookies.

Advertising cookies

Some websites use advertising networks to show you specially targeted adverts when you visit. These networks may also be able to track your browsing across different sites.

IberianLawyer site do use advertising cookies but they won’t track your browsing outside the IberianLawyer.

Session cookies

These are stored while you’re browsing. They get deleted from your device when you close your browser e.g. Internet Explorer or Safari.

Persistent cookies

These are saved on your computer. So they don’t get deleted when you close your browser.

We use persistent cookies when we need to know who you are for more than one browsing session. For example, we use them to remember your preferences for the next time you visit.

Other tracking technologies

Some sites use things like web beacons, clear GIFs, page tags and web bugs to understand how people are using them and target advertising at people.

They usually take the form of a small, transparent image, which is embedded in a web page or email. They work with cookies and capture data like your IP address, when you viewed the page or email, what device you were using and where you were.

How does the Iberian Lawyer use cookies?

We use different types of cookies for different things, such as:

  • Analysing how you use the IberianLawyer
  • Giving you a better, more personalised experience
  • Recognising when you’ve signed in

Strictly Necessary cookies

These cookies let you use all the different parts of Iberian Lawyer. Without them services that you have asked for cannot be provided.

Some examples of how we use these cookies are:

  • Signing into the IberianLawyer
  • Remembering previous actions such as text entered into a registration form when navigating back to a page in the same session
  • Remembering security settings which restrict access to certain content.

Performance cookies

These help us understand how people are using the IberianLawyer online, so we can make it better. And they let us try out different ideas.
We sometimes get other companies to analyse how people are using the IberianLawyer online. These companies may set their own performance cookies You can opt out of these cookies here.Some examples of how we use these cookies are:

  • To collect information about which web pages visitors go to most often so we can improve the online experience
  • Error management to make sure that the website is working properly
  • Testing designs to help improve the look and feel of the website.
Cookie nameWhat it's for
Google DoubleClick The IberianLawyer uses Google DoubleClick to measure the effectiveness of its online marketing campaigns.Opt-out of DoubleClick cookies
Google Analytics From time to time some IberianLawyer online services, including mobile apps, use Google Analytics. This is a web analytics service provided by Google, Inc. Google Analytics sets a cookie in order to evaluate use of those services and compile a report for us.Opt-out of Google Analytics cookies