Mixed response to European Commission’s ‘winter package’

The European Commission’s “winter package”, a series of proposals representing an effort to modernize Europe’s energy system, has received a mixed response from market officials. Some agencies and associations have criticized Brusssels for a lack of ambition while others described the package proposals as favorable.

Capacity Availability Ticket (CAT) mechanisms and their future direction, as envisioned by the European Commission, represent a key part of the package.

They include a 550 gram CO2 per KWh emission limit on units eligible for CAT mechanisms. This limit would exclude new lignite-fired power stations from CAT mechanism eligibility. Based on the proposal, the limit would not apply for existing lignite-fired units, which will be able to receive CAT subsidies in the future.

Euro MP Claude Turmes, a member of the Group of the Greens, described the “winter package” as a “gift for Poland”, given the numerous lignite-fired stations operating in the country.

The proposals would also allow the European Commission to exercise greater control, directly and indirectly, over the energy policies of EU member states.

The European Commission proposed the establishment of an EU governing body for energy policy as a means towards reaching objectives, especially ones concerning climate change and energy targets set for 2030.