EU market 60% open by 2000

Approximately 60 percent of the EU electricity market could be open to competition by 2000, according to a recent statement from Christopher Jones, head of the European Commission`s internal energy market unit. As of Feb. 19, 1999, the 15 EU states will have to open 22 percent of their electricity markets, increasing that level to 33 percent in 2003, in accordance with an EU directive. Jones said he expects liberalization to extend beyond the mandated levels. Finland, Sweden, Germany and Britain all plan to open their markets completely, which will encourage competition across the EU, he said.

Africa needs to more than double its electricity generating capacity over the next 10 to 15 years, and will need (US)$150 billion in investment to achieve that, according to a recent statement from Omar Kabbaj, African Development Bank (AfDB) president. Currently only around 22 percent of Africans have access to electricity.