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Electricity market indicators: No Clear Trends Discernable

The latest statistics on the number of electricity generation and retail companies in EU member states for 2020 are presented in the updated Electricity Market Indicators from Eurostat. Data for Ireland are not available in these statistics, but the report included information from Montenegro, Northern Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Moldova, and Georgia.

In the period 2013-2020 there was no clear trend pointing to an increase or decrease of the main power generating companies (main = market coverage of more than 5% of national electricity production) and their number in the European Union fluctuated between 72 and 81 companies. The figure below shows the market share of the largest generator in the electricity market in 2020 in the EU. Cyprus is the only one of the presented countries where this share was 100%, followed by France (78%), Croatia (76%) and Czechia (76%). The lowest was in Spain (20%), Luxembourg (18%), Poland (17%) and Italy with 16%.

Numbers on generating companies representing at least 95% of the national net electricity generation, reveal that in some, not necessarily large, countries there exists a significant number of companies: for example in Denmark there are 1,800, in Italy – 911, in Austria – 455.  Five EU member states were limited to five or fewer companies in 2020 – Cyprus (1 company), Greece (3), Malta (3), Slovenia (4), Spain (5). Between 2019 and 2020, the number of companies remained stable in six EU member states, and increases were seen in 16 member states.

The cumulative market share of the main electric generating companies and their respective share in installed capacity for 2020 can be seen in the following figure. Italy had the lowest market coverage of the main production companies (30%), which means that relatively small companies cover 70% of the total Italian electricity market.

Eurostat also provides information on the total number of all retailers that sell electricity to end consumers. In the EU, the number of retailers increased from 3,430 in 2013 to 4,286 in 2020. If we look only at the main retailers with a market share of more than 5%, the largest numbers were in Slovenia and Austria, with 7 in each (see the figure below).