February 21 (Renewables Now) - The European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research & Energy (ITRE) today endorsed a new plan to modernise Europe’s electricity markets that, according to wind industry body WindEurope, is “fair and significantly better” than what was previously proposed.
The ITRE committee has cleared the recast Electricity Directive & Regulation, building on a proposal by the European Commission. The new plan calls for existing wind farms to continue to benefit from priority dispatch, while from 2020 onwards new plants of that type will lose this right. There, however, will be better rules on curtailment. When it comes to grid congestion, renewable energy assets will be curtailed last and receive proper compensation.
If the plan is adopted, demonstration projects using renewable sources will be among those with priority dispatch. This will lead to a reduction of the cost of pilot geothermal projects, and hence the cost of innovation for the whole EU geothermal industry, said the European Geothermal Energy Council (EGEC).
“The Electricity Regulation must reflect a reality of renewable energy that is not always understood: there are some renewable technologies, like geothermal, that are base load and flexible, and provide services to the electricity system” said Philippe Dumas, EGEC Secretary General.
At the same time, the Parliament has given the green light to retroactively phasing out balancing requirements for new and existing installations. As a result, renewables will not be exempted from compensating Transmission System Operators (TSOs) anymore for any deviations in their projected generation.
The introduction of an Emission Performance Standard (EPS) from 2020 of 550 gr CO2/kWh for capacity payments has also been voted. In addition, support was given to a European-level monitoring of the security of electricity supply.
The CEO of WindEurope, Giles Dickson, expressed concern about those new rules on balancing.
“It’s unclear what compensation will need to be paid to TSOs. And wind farms will need to delegate this to third parties with no guarantees it will be done at a fair price,” Dickson noted.
Overall, he is happy with the fact that the Parliament is keeping priority dispatch for existing wind farms and is setting clear rules on curtailment.