The European Commission’s so-called “winter package” – a series of proposals representing part of an effort to modernize Europe’s energy system with the aim of facilitating renewable energy (RES) market penetration – expected to be announced on November 30, has already raised concerns in the RES sector.
Market officials were surprised by a recent leak claiming that RES producers may lose their priority dispatch rights to European grid networks, which, in the past, has played a pivotal role for the RES sub-sector’s development.
The news of this possible loss has prompted considerable reaction around Europe.
The European Commission’s proposals, expected to be presented in the form of eight or nine detailed texts numbering a total of about 1,000 pages, were originally scheduled to be released in October, but disagreements between EU member states prompted their postponement until late November.
Brussels aims to make as smooth as possible the transition towards the climate change objectives set for 2030.
Greek officials, asked about the possible loss of priority dispatch rights for RES producers, were critical, generally describing the prospect as one that would prove detrimental for the sector as conditions are not yet mature for such a move.
Stelios Psomas, an energy sector consultant, described the possible loss of priority dispatch rights for RES producers as a “wrong decision at a wrong time”. The Greek official said that the European Commission appears to have lost touch with reality in terms of its RES policy in recent years.
“Over a time period of less than five years, the European Commission has managed to transform the EU from a RES sector leader to a follower,” Psomas remarked. “The PV sector is the most striking example. The European share of the international PV market fell from 75 percent in 2010 to 16 percent at the end of 2015,” he added.