EURELECTRIC launches European power sector’s vision for the development of the Energy Union

News Article

Today EURELECTRIC published its key policy priorities and recommendations in anticipation of the upcoming so-called “Winter Package” of legislative proposals aimed at developing the Energy Union project.

The EURELECTRIC Winter Package Solutions document elaborates the European power sector’s key principles and proposals for concrete action regarding the legislative proposals and other publications expected from the European Commission.  These include issues concerning the governance system of the Energy Union, the review of the Renewable Energy Directive, a new deal for electricity consumers, ensuring an active role for DSOs, as well as aspects relating to wholesale market integration, security of supply and network tariffs.

The document is being launched at a EURELECTRIC Conference on the Winter Package and its contribution in achieving the Energy Union taking place today in Brussels. Discussions at the Conference will focus on how to place customers at the centre of the Energy Union, developing regional approaches towards building Europe’s Single Energy Market, and the key elements of developing a governance system of the Energy Union.

Speaking during the Conference, EURELECTRIC Secretary General Hans ten Berge said: “We see immense potential in the Energy Union project and an ambitious, European approach to climate and energy policy. The success of this project will depend on ensuring that the European power sector benefits from a stable and market-based regulatory framework that properly values electricity and stimulates innovation. We expect the European Commission to publish a Package of proposals that reflects a coherent European climate and energy policy pathway, supported by a holistic governance system for the Energy Union, that delivers secure, competitively priced and sustainable energy for citizens and business within the integrated European energy market.”

In our ability and commitment to become carbon‐neutral by 2050, the electricity industry can lead the drive to decarbonise Europe. With electricity becoming increasingly low carbon, replacing fossil fuel based systems with electric technologies will provide a promising pathway to achieve emission reductions in Europe. In this context, two elements are crucial in order to achieve cost-effective decarbonisation: a robust EU ETS and a well-functioning European energy market. A strengthened EU ETS will ensure cost-effective, technology-neutral and market-based delivery of the EU’s decarbonisation objectives as it drives major investment in renewables and energy efficiency.

The power industry is confident that renewables are becoming fully competitive with other power generation technologies. This will require that future deployment of renewables is sustainable, cost-efficient and based on market fundamentals.

The critical challenges will be to foster the competitiveness of low-carbon technologies, to allow for the development of flexible solutions, to ensure that the market provides adequate price signals for existing assets and investments, and to avoid structural over or under-capacity thus ensuring security of supply in a cost-efficient way.

In the development of a new market design for electricity markets, we should be guided by the need to ensure cost-efficiency and affordability for European customers. Further market integration, a regional approach to security of supply and removing existing market distortions will contribute to achieving this goal.

EURELECTRIC believes that efficient retail markets should also adapt to the era of active consumers. Bringing down policy support costs in the electricity bill and charging the regulated elements in a way that reflects the underlying costs and their structure will provide the right incentives for consumers and underpin electrification. Consumers should also have the opportunity to react to wholesale prices and participate in demand response programmes if they wish to do so.

In the midst of the changing energy landscape, the number of prosumers, aggregators and distributed storage providers is rising and these are progressively interacting with Distribution System Operators (DSOs), forcing changes in the way they operate and plan their networks.

During today’s Conference, European Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action, Miguel Arias Cañete, will deliver a closing keynote speech on progress towards the development of the Energy Union project and will be officially presented with the EURELECTRIC Winter Package Solutions document.