The use of demand response green aggregators in power grid operator IPTO auctions, as part of the effort to reduce electricity consumption by 5 percent, a European Commission requirement to be introduced December 1 for all EU member states, was one of the tools discussed at a broad energy ministry meeting focused on establishing an energy-saving strategy ahead of the requirement.
Besides energy ministry officials, the meeting, staged last Friday, also involved representatives of RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, IPTO, distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO and the country’s five licensed aggregators.
In Greece, electricity usage restrictions will be imposed from 6pm-9pm on weekdays, with an additional hour, either between 9am and 10am or 9pm and 10 pm. Weekend restrictions may also be enforced to help achieve the 5 percent electricity consumption cut.
The imminent approval by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, of a legal framework for demand-response green aggregators represents a first step towards the entry of a second category of players into the balancing market.
RAE president Athanasios Dagoumas made reference to the prospect this week during a speech delivered at an Ecomobility conference staged by HAEE, the Hellenic Association for Energy Economics.
“One of the first revisions to be made in 2022, early on, too, concerns demand response participation [in the balancing market],” the RAE head told the conference.
Demand-response green aggregators will offer balancing services to the grid through appropriate consumption adjustment of load portfolios managed by them.
The energy ministry and RAE are aiming to include the demand response system into the balancing market within the year’s first quarter, sources told energy press.
A Market Reform Plan being prepared by the government, to be submitted to the European Commission, includes provisions for the establishment of an energy exchange transaction platform concerning power purchase agreements (PPAs) between RES producers, as well as green aggregators, with suppliers and major-scale consumers.
The green PPAs, when concerning energy-intensive industrial enterprises, will receive state support, while a subsidy package for this category of agreements is also in the making, according to the plan.
Funds stemming from the recovery fund, the green fund as well as the RES special account will be used to fund the subsidy package, according to the government plan.
The aim of the effort is to ensure, in advance, the sale of prospective energy to be produced by new RES units, the intention being to facilitate bank financing for their development given the fact that they will no longer be entitled to fixed tariffs, through auctions, over 20-year periods, as has been the case until now.
The plan is expected to result in lower-priced green energy for industrial consumers and also facilitate the development of new RES investments.
Major European companies with considerable interests in energy exchanges abroad are now seeking to represent local industrial producers for demand response services in Greece’s balancing market.
Two major international players, currently assembling new related divisions in Greece, have already approached Greek producers to take on their representation.
Demand response system entry into Greece’s new balancing market is expected to begin within 2021, barring unexpected developments.
Once launched, foreign representatives will be able to assume demand-response, green-aggregator roles in Greece, offering balancing services to the system.
Power grid operator IPTO, in its effort to ensure grid stability, will be able to utilize the flexibility major-scale electricity consumers are capable of offering.
Forecast inaccuracies by green aggregators between November 1 and February 14 cost the RES special account a total of 7.7 million euros, RES market operator DAPEEP’s head official Yiannis Giarentis has alleged in a letter to RAE (Regulatory Authority for Energy) chief executive Thanassis Dagoumas.
This cost arises as green aggregators are not charged for their discrepancies. Instead, amounts they return are limited to sums received through the market at day-ahead market price levels.
Green aggregators are not making any effort to improve their forecasts as, under the current rules, they do not shoulder the cost of discrepancies, the RES market operator head official explained in his letter.
On the contrary, existing balancing market regulations enable green aggregators to maximize profits at the cost of the RES special account, a situation that RAE must investigate, Giarentis pointed out.
The DAPEEP chief, in his letter, has called for an amendment to a related law, ratified in 2016.
Today marks a historic day for the country’s renewable energy sector as RES stations begin their gradual departure from the security of fixed prices and start facing market challenges for payment of production either alone or through green aggregation arrangements.
RES stations with feed-in tariff agreements will, as of today, need to submit their Day-Ahead Schedule production offers for the next day, as is required of thermal stations.
For the time being, these offers will not concern payments for RES stations but, instead, be limited to their projected output.
Energy aggregation enables a group of companies or local institutions to partner together to buy energy from a single developer, or multiple developers, at smaller volumes while retaining the economic advantages of a high-volume purchase.
At present, 103 RES stations offering a total capacity of approximately 560 MW are obligated to operate through Day-Ahead Schedules. Of these, 455 MW are wind energy facilities, 77 MW are solar energy units, and the remainder concern other RES technologies.