Trade bodies call for continued priority dispatch

EUROPE: A group of European renewable energy trade bodies have signed a joint statement calling for the continued use of priority dispatch, following a report by an MEP.

Renewable energy trade bodies want continued priority access to the grid (pic: Elia)
Renewable energy trade bodies want continued priority access to the grid (pic: Elia)

In the joint statement, the trade bodies, including WindEurope, called on the European Parliament to "maintain priority dispatch for existing installations, demonstration projects and small installations until EU market rules are fully transparent and effective, ensuring a true level playing field."

It follows a report by the European Parliament's lead negotiator on reforms to the EU electricity market, backing the idea to abolish the first call on grid access enjoyed by renewable energy projects.

Krisjanis Karins, a member of the conservative European People's Party parliamentary group, wrote in his position on the European Commission's proposal published as part of its winter package of climate and energy policy.

Karins argued that removing the support measure would give all producers an incentive to balance supply with demand and keep the electricity grid stable.

The letter from the renewable energy associations highlights three reasons why priority dispatch should remain for the time being.

It argued most European electricity markets "are not yet fit for renewables" and priority access gives investors more certainty in the market.

"Ignoring specific national situations, and imposing an unconditional EU-wide phase-out of priority dispatch and priority access to all generating installations would put the development of renewables at risk," the letter read.

The groups also argued that market-based dispatch "involves prohibitive technical and administrative burdens". This would reduce  certainty for small or demonstration projects which require stability.

Finally, the letter said "retrospective changes undermine a cost-effective energy transition: investors need to regain trust in the EU as a stable regulatory framework for renewables".

The European Parliament's industry and energy committee is due to discuss the draft report at a meeting this week. The parliament as a whole is expected to adopt its final positionearly next year, which Karins will represent in negotiations with national governments.

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