After working in the EU Commission’s Directorate-General for Energy for 20 years, Matti Supponen is retiring at the end of the year. He earned a doctorate in technology from Aalto University, and has spent his entire career working with energy issues. But electricity is closest to his heart.
“I received an electrical kit for Christmas when I was a child and that sparked my interest. The abstract nature of electricity is so fascinating,” explains Supponen, whose work in the EU Commission has focused on developing the internal electricity market.
In recent years, he has spent a lot of time planning the new electricity market model. It’s part of the EU’s Clean Energy Package that is nearly ready.
“In addition, implementation of the previous electricity market package approved in 2009 is still in progress in some countries. One example is network codes.”
According to Supponen, the Clean Energy Package will help Finnish energy industry operators export their innovations to other EU countries. Now Finland should focus on creating new solutions that move the Nordic electricity market forward. This means that Finland would have a lot of ideas to propose the next time the electricity market package is updated. Over the past 20 years, Supponen says that the European electricity market has changed a lot – but in small steps.
“On the practical level, electricity market competition and functionality have improved a lot, especially from the consumer viewpoint. Of course, we’re not even close to an ideal situation.”
According to Supponen, the differences between European electricity systems are still surprisingly large and electricity market development sometimes requires patience. The processes are long and can take up to 10 years.
“The moment when things are finally ready and become concrete is always very emotional,” states Supponen.