In an interview with the Financial Times, Sir John Mogg, chairman of UK energy regulator Ofgem, has asserted his belief that an independent energy regulator is necessary for a competitive energy market to prevail in the European Union.

Sir John told the financial daily that after years of attempts to liberalize the European energy market, he is confident that movement towards fully opening the sector to competition is finally being made. However, he added that an independent regulator would be an essential part of this evolution.

The report also said that the controversial strategy of ownership unbundling is likely to be one of a number of structural reforms suggested by Europe’s energy commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, when his more legislative plans to bring competition to the sector are released this week.

Unbundling would see the mandated break up of vertically integrated utilities in order to encourage competition within the European energy sector. This would affect big monopolies such as EDF, France’s state-controlled electricity company, and E.ON of Germany.