LWMELR-Energy Law and Regulation

Module Provider: School of Law
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Level:7
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2019/0

Module Convenor: Dr Jorge Guira

Email: j.m.guira@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

The aim of the module is to enable students to develop an understanding of the legal, commercial and economic issues, which arise in the regulation of energy markets, with a focus on the European energy market. We will consider and critically examine the way in which the European Institutions have sought to create an internal market for energy in Europe (particularly for natural gas and electricity), and their attempts to improve security of supply for energy imports, to create favourable conditions for new investment and to enhance energy efficiency. The course will also examine the external relations of the EU in energy policy through focused case studies (e.g. EU-Russia energy relations)


Aims:

The aim of the module is to enable students to develop an understanding of the legal, commercial and economic issues, which arise in the regulation of energy markets, with a focus on the European energy market. We will consider and critically examine the way in which the European Institutions have sought to create an internal market for energy in Europe (particularly for natural gas and electricity), and their attempts to improve security of supply for energy imports, to create favourable conditions for new investment and to enhance energy efficiency. The course will also examine the external relations of the EU in energy policy through focused case studies (e.g. EU-Russia energy relations)


Assessable learning outcomes:

On completion of the module, students will be expected to be able to:



 - Demonstrate an understanding of the conflicting drivers affecting participants in energy markets (producers, transportation and processing operators, wholesalers and traders, retailers, industrial users and consumers);



 - Critically assess the legislative developments and case law which have shaped current energy markets, and the challenges for the future;



 - Appreciate the interplay between competition law and regulation in seeking to reduce market dominance and achieve competitively-priced, secure energy supplies;



- Understand the complex institutional interactions between the NRAs, the ACER and the Commission and their role in encouraging greater liberalisation and competition and also in increasing levels of consumer protection;



 - Critically assess the EU’s efforts to promote energy efficiency and energy saving and the development of new and renewable forms of energy.



 - Critically assess the developments in the field of the external relations of the EU in energy policy


Additional outcomes:
In addition to those listed in the School’s "core skills statement", the module will encourage the development of:

- High-level oral communication skills through reflective, analytical class discussion
- High-level writing skills through close and critical analysis of both primary and secondary source material
- An ability to apply theoretical and contextual knowledge to practical problems that face people working in the field
- A sophisticated appreciation of the inter-play between competition law and regulatory intervention in trying to reshape markets.

Outline content:

The module will start by tracing the evolution of the energy markets in the EU and the transition from a system composed largely of national state-owned monopolies, geographic demarcation and vertical integration to an integrated market of competing interests. Following the privatisation and liberalization of energy markets in the UK in the late 1980s and 90s we will look at the steps taken to move towards liberalization in the rest of the EU (market opening, unbundling, third party access, public service obligations and consumer protection) and explore some of the various legal tools (merger control, competition law, free movement provisions, tariff controls, compulsory third party access regimes) which were used to achieve this. We will look at the successes and failures of the European Commission’s series of liberalization directives and regulations, and the reasons behind the 2007 Energy Sectoral Enquiry which concluded with the Third Energy Package in 2009. We will examine the different ways in which competition law and regulation can each be used to achieve regulatory reform, identify areas of tension between the two (e.g. the case of long-term energy contracts) and will consider whether the interplay between DG TREN and DG COMP in putting together the Third Package is evidence of broader tensions which can arise between competition law and regulatory intervention. This will enable us to discuss whether the compromises of the Third Package have resulted in too little, or too much regulation, and whether it is sufficient for its purposes. The institutional interactions between the NRAs, the ACER and the Commission will also be examined as well as their role in encouraging greater liberalisation and competition (e.g. TSOs) and in enhancing consumer protection and confidence in the energy markets (e.g. REMIT regulation). The module will then look at the evolution of the EU external relations in the field of energy policy (e.g. EU -Russia relationship, Belarus Oil Crisis, Ukraine crisis). Finally, the module will assess the recently adopted EU Energy Efficiency Directive and the 2014 EU efforts to support renewable forms of energy (2014 guidelines on state aid for environmental protection and energy) and will critically consider the 4th Energy Package.


Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Teaching in this module is designed to provide students with a range of resources on which they can draw in their learning. The main elements are:



- A list of required and recommended readings, with notes and questions that will be used to guide class discussion and reflection.



 - Ten weekly seminar classes of 2 hours each. These are a mixture of lecture and discussion-based classes. Students are encouraged to actively engage with the issues being addressed.



Note: Because the module looks at the interplay between regulation and competition law, students will find it helpful to have some basis background knowledge of Competition Law, or otherwise might consider also taking the module LWMTCM.


Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 20
Guided independent study: 180
       
Total hours by term 200
       
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
1 x 15 page essay (formatted in accordance with the School of Law’s Assessed Work Rules)

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Assessment requirements for a pass:
50% overall

Reassessment arrangements:
See School of Law PGT Programme Handbook

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 1 October 2019

THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS MODULE DESCRIPTION DOES NOT FORM ANY PART OF A STUDENT'S CONTRACT.

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