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A European power market designed to deliver a clean future for European citizens

Brussels – 26th June 2017: 13 industry leaders and associations have launched today “Make Power Clean,” a joint initiative to promote a European electricity market designed to deliver cleaner energy for all.

The European Union’s electricity market must become more flexible, secure and sustainable to put Europe on track for the energy transition. Avoiding that State aid, in the form of capacity mechanisms, ends up incentivising the most polluting and less flexible power plants is central to meeting this goal.

The new “Make Power Clean” initiative strongly supports the European Commission’s proposal for a carbon eligibility criterion in the Regulation on the Internal Market for Electricity: it is a most-needed step in the right direction. We call on the Council and the European Parliament to endorse the 550g CO2/kWh carbon criterion, which is critical to the overall consistency and efficiency of EU climate and energy policy.

Additional aid for higher CO2 emitting power plants should not be extended, given that cleaner supply alternatives are available now. This would go against the best interest of European citizens.

Giles Dickson, WindEurope CEO, said: “The EU power sector faces an overcapacity of power generation of approximately 13% (160 GW). This puts downward pressure on wholesale power prices and undermines investments in new power generation capacity. The application of poorly-designed capacity payments in some countries is making things worse. They give undue compensation to redundant power plants that otherwise would have left the market. Consumers’ energy bills should not be supporting the continued operation of Europe’s most polluting power plants, when cleaner options to secure our power supply are available at low cost. We therefore strongly support this initiative to promote the 550g CO2/kWh criterion for capacity mechanisms.

“The initiative has nothing to do with what, if anything, should be the back-up for variable renewable capacity. The key thing to manage a higher share of variable renewables in the power mix is to have properly functioning cross-border electricity markets with adequate grid infrastructure. We then need to make better use of demand response and storage technology. And then we look to other forms of power generation as flexible back-up – and within this hydro is a cleaner and more cost-effective form of back-up than gas”.

As proposed by the European Commission, making the eligibility for capacity mechanisms conditional to a 550g CO2/kWh carbon criterion is transparent and in line with the European Investment Bank’s investment lending policy.

The carbon criterion is consistent with Europe’s 2030 decarbonisation goal and supports the effectiveness of the EU Emission Trading Scheme (ETS). The ongoing ETS reform is critical to deliver a meaningful carbon price signal to drive the switch towards lower carbon power generation. The carbon criterion ensures that capacity mechanisms do not contradict the low carbon incentives delivered by the ETS.

The “Make Power Clean” initiative currently includes 13 leading companies and associations committed to providing solutions to deliver the energy transition and move forward to a low-carbon economy. ENI, ESIA, Eurogas, Gas Natural Fenosa, IBERDROLA, Nordex/Acciona Windpower, Shell, SNAM, Siemens, Solar Power Europe, Statoil, Total and WindEurope join together to support the 550 criterion.

You can now find us – and join in – at makepowerclean.eu and follow us on Twitter: @MakePowerClean.

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