A series of unfavorable regulation revisions, especially for new RES units, and, in some cases, existing facilities, including a premature elimination of priority dispatch rights, have been included in a series of proposals made by LAGIE, the Electricity Market Operator, and IPTO, the power grid operator.
If implemented, these proposals, forwarded by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, for public consultation, would serve as a transitional framework for the market until target model regulations are finalized and implemented.
RES sector investors and officials have already distinguished problems, including hidden surcharges, and intend to offer arguments against their adoption during the public consultation procedure.
One proposal that has not been embraced entails the premature elimination of priority dispatch rights for recent RES units that signed feed in premium agreements in 2016 as well as new RES units established from now on. EU law does not demand the elimination of priority dispatch rights for this investment category.
The proposals made by the operators include a plan that would require new and existing RES units to contribute to system losses. To date, system losses, estimated to be around 2 to 2.5 percent, have only burdened thermal electricity producers.
Priority dispatch rights for existing RES units will be maintained, the Council of the EU has ruled. Even so, the renewable energy sector’s response to RES sector amendments was mixed.
WindEurope, the wind energy association, warned that existing RES units could be exposed to system balancing responsibilities before acquiring rights to related balancing markets.
The council also decided to require three-year forecasts from EU member states on volumes and budgets concerning RES support mechanisms. In another decision, member states may continue staging RES auctions for specific technologies.
As for the 2030 energy mix target, the council backed a European Commission objective for at least 27 percent of the EU’s energy to be sourced by renewables.
European RES associations have jointly declared that most EU markets are not yet ready for the abolition of priority dispatch rights offered to RES units, as has been proposed by the European Commission.
A joint letter forwarded by ten RES associations was prompted by a proposal made by Euro MP Krisjanis Karins, a member of the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE), who called for certain revisions, despite supporting the fundamental aspects of the European Commission’s winter package.
In their letter, the associations pointed out that most EU electricity markets are not ready for direct RES participation, noting that the progress of short-term products, level of transparency in network functioning, and system flexibity all remain uneven around Europe. As a result, abolishing priority dispatch rights for RES units at this stage would jeopardize RES growth, the RES associations contended.
The associations called for the European Commission to maintain priority dispatch rights for existing RES units, trial-basis projects and small units until market regulations offer full transparency and efficiency.