The Competition Authority of Iceland wants to review the local electric power market in the next few months and separate publicly-owned and competitive factors within the power companies. Minister of Trade Björgvin G. Sigurdsson agrees.
According to a report issued by the Competition Authority yesterday, it will both benefit consumers and strengthen competition if these factors are separated—transport and distribution on the one hand and production and sale on the other, Fréttabladid reports.
“I think this is an interesting conclusion which emphasizes what we have been discussing for the last few months,” the minister said. “Now we have the opportunity to ensure that the public owns the majority of the power companies, while we strengthen the competition factor wherever it is appropriate.”
Director of the Competition Authority Páll Gunnar Pálsson said he would like to take it one step further. “It would be best to separate ownership of competition and monopoly factors completely so they won’t be held by the same hand.”
Private parties have invested more in the electric power market in Iceland than in the other Nordic countries and in Iceland electric power has been sold to a great extent to large scale industries.
Pálsson said both the power companies and the government can contribute to a healthier market for electric power in Iceland with relatively simple measures.
“In a small and isolated electric power market like ours, both power companies and the government constantly have to look for ways to strengthen competition for the benefit of the public,” Pálsson concluded.