In the last two decades, the liberalization process has been the basis for a major change in the industry in order to compete in the manufacturing and supply sectors of the electricity industry. The creation of electricity markets has raised new issues such as the creation and development of regional markets. In other words, with the development of trade in goods and services globally, the concepts of the electricity market are transmitted to a level beyond the borders of a country and the creation of integrated electricity markets in larger areas of a country. The ECO Regional Electricity Market is also based on this vision and its main idea is based on the formation of a regional electricity market between the member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation (ECO). The initial idea of this market was formed after the proposal of Iran and the meeting with the Secretary General of the Organization of Economic Cooperation (ECO) in 2011. It was agreed in this meeting, with the cooperation and participation of the organization and with the focus of the ECO countries.

In the implementation of the agreements with ECO, the first meeting of the regional economic power market of ECO member countries was hosted by Tavanir on November 14-15, 2013 with the participation of representatives from Turkey, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Pakistan and the Islamic Republic of Iran were held at the ECO Secretariat in Tehran. The most important agreements of the meeting were:

  • Considering the experience of the countries of Iran and Turkey in setting up the electricity market, conducting coordination and feasibility studies to set up a common electricity market between the two countries as the first step in implementing the regional electricity market (project Pilot).
  • It was proposed that the Islamic Development Bank should finance the studies required to establish a regional electricity market between ECO countries

In October of 2014, the first bilateral meeting of Iran and Turkey was held in the presence of the ECO Secretariat on the ECO-REM Regional Electricity Market (ECO-REM) in Ankara. The members agreed to follow-up discussions, consultations and exchanges between Iranian and Turkish delegates at two levels of expertise and management within the framework of the structures proposed by the ECO Secretariat.

The issue of the establishment of the ECO Regional Electricity Market was addressed by representatives of Iran at the 3rd ECO Summit of Energy Experts held in Tehran in June 2015 and ranked among the ECO programs.

In May 2016, the second bilateral meeting between Iran and Turkey was held in the presence of the ECO Secretariat in Shiraz. At the end of the meeting, it was agreed that the ECO Secretariat would coordinate the views o both countries on the criteria, specifications, and method of selecting three advisers (one Iranian consultant, a Turkish advisor and an international consultant) to conduct feasibility studies for the launch of the ECO regional electricity market by the end of June 2016. Based on the views expressed by Iran and Turkey, the ECO Secretary-General accepted the approval of $ 50,000 to finance part of the study.

The ECO Secretariat has been seeking international partnerships and international agreements to provide technical and financial support to the ECO REM Project, and has agreed on an agreement on this issue. ECO, in partnership with Energy Charter, on the sidelines of the Twenty-third World Energy Congress in Istanbul (2016), hosted a panel discussion about ECO Electricity Market.