WindEurope position papers
Repowering and lifetime extension: making the most of Europe’s wind energy resource
As every energy technology, wind energy assets have an end to their operational lifetime. A significant proportion of the installed EU wind fleet will come to the end of its lifetime between 2020 and 2030. These decommissioned wind energy assets will not count for the delivery of the EU 2030 renewable energy target.
This paper seeks to align approaches on repowering across the EU in line with the proposed post-2020 renewable energy regulatory framework. The repowering provisions in the Clean Energy Package would guarantee that Member States are able to harness a higher share of wind energy at the best wind sites to the benefit of European consumers by 2030.
EU RES associations position on dispatching regime
The draft report published by Dr. Karins MEP proposes crucial changes to the current dispatching regime for generating installations using renewable energy sources. With this letter, the renewable energy industry wishes to emphasize three major elements that need to be considered by the rapporteur and the members of the ITRE committee when revising the dispatching regime for renewables.
The following considerations are key for maintaining investments in renewables, and giving Europe a chance to fulfil its climate change targets and remain world number one in renewables.
Financing wind energy beyond 2020
The Clean Energy Package foresees an EU level financing framework to help the Union deliver on its collective binding target of renewable energy in final energy consumption (Art 3.4 of the recast Renewable Energy Directive). This financing facility could support and incentivise countries to deliver on their national plans and avoid any potential gaps in the target.
In the absence of legal binding renewable energy national targets, there is a need to incentivise Member States to deliver on the collective commitment by providing them with tools that attract investors to their markets. This paper elaborates on the main risks that investors will face in the post-2020 renewable energy context, and propose solutions at EU level to address the potential gap between available finance for renewables and deployment needs to meet the EU’s 2030 targets
Unlock demand-side flexibility for European consumers, innovation and the climate
WindEurope and the IDEAS platform (*) call on Members of the European Parliament and energy ministers to unlock the potential of demand-side flexibility in Europe. This resource not only benefits and empowers consumers, but also enables the integration of ever larger shares of renewables in the power system at least cost. The Clean Energy Package should address current market failures and set fair rules that will allow this take-off, such as: creating functioning wholesale markets, allowing consumers and third parties to value their flexibility and tackling the structural overcapacity of generation in Europe. Not delivering this risks affecting the Europe Union’s competitiveness, undermining its decarbonisation efforts as well as its opportunities for jobs and growth.
(*) IDEAS is an informal stakeholders’ platform that contributes to the development and implementation of European policies and initiatives to drive the deployment of flexible demand-side resources in support of the EU’s goals in energy and climate, security of supply and competitiveness.
Higher renewable energy ambition required to avoid deployment slowdown
The Clean Energy for All Europeans package proposed by the European Commission in November last year suggests a European binding target of at least 27% renewable energy by 2030. This target’s lack of ambition translates to a slow-down in renewable energy deployment after 2020. Going below a target of 35% would mean that, over the next decade, Europe installs less new renewable energy capacity than in the current one, putting its competitive edge at risk. We therefore urge MEPs to support a binding target of at least 35% as being the bare minimum to keep momentum going in this fast-growing industry and ensure Europe reaps the economic benefits resulting from a sustained renewable energy deployment.
Reviving wind markets and delivering on our 2030 objectives
A reliable European renewable energy strategy is needed to create a business case for wind energy beyond 2020. WindEurope welcomes the spirit of the European Commission’s proposals for a new Governance Regulation and a recast Renewable Energy Directive. But it considers that Member States and the European Parliament should raise ambition towards a collective EU renewables target of at least 35% to make full use of the economic potential the energy transition offers.
Building a European energy market fit for the energy transition
WindEurope believes the legislative proposals for a revised electricity market design offer a unique chance to provide the industry with a predictable investment framework, to create fairer market conditions for all energy sources, and to seize the opportunities that come with a decentralised energy system. Getting the market design right today will determine whether the energy transition in Europe is achieved in the most cost-effective manner.
WindEurope views on the TSO-DSO coordination – Enabling flexibility from distributed wind power
Europe’s power system is undergoing a profound change. Most of the new generation capacity is being connected to distribution networks. Distributed generation could provide valuable services today to the system but some market design features impede the delivery of these services to the market.
Utilising the services from distributed generation would lead to lower system costs (i.e. through higher competition). Additionally, optimising the use of flexibility resources could reduce the amount of curtailed wind and solar power, saving tax-payers money and maximising the use of carbon-free sources.
Make green electricity markets work for consumers and energy transition
At least 15 million European households are willing to actively support the transition towards a cleaner energy supply. They have already opted for a green electricity tariff with a 100% renewable fuel mix. This demand could be leading to increased investment in additional renewable installations and, aside from national support schemes, be another way to boost renewable energy generation.
Manufacturers call on European institutions to strengthen EU industrial strategy
92 trade associations have signed a Joint Declaration in the run-up to the Competitiveness Council calling on the EU to strengthen its industry strategy.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker marked the reindustrialisation of Europe as a priority to ensure the EU remains a competitive global power as other countries including China, India and the USA step up their industrial policies. WindEurope together with European trade associations from other manufacturing sectors calls on the European Commission to:
- reaffirm its commitment to reaching the target of 20% of GDP from industry, with an ambitious and realistic timeline;
- adopt an Action Plan to tackle the challenges that the industrial sectors face, in the framework of a Communication that would include concrete steps and milestones; and
- commit to implement this Action Plan in a timely manner and regularly report on progress.
Creating a business case for wind after 2020
The investment climate in the European power sector is deteriorating. Projects become riskier and struggle to attract affordable capital owing to a lack of visibility on their long-term revenues. This is particularly relevant for wind energy projects, which require large upfront investment and are highly sensitive to financing conditions.
This paper explains how revenue stabilisation mechanisms, complemented by spot market signals, can help mitigate risk while reducing the decarbonisation costs borne by final consumers. It also explores the potential of commercial long-term contracts (PPAs) between wind power producers and corporations, which are currently on the rise in Europe.
The potential of energy sector integration
- Sector integration is a win-win for the European energy system and a boost for the wider economy.
- Sector integration is technically and economically feasible today.
- Regulatory barriers must be removed to realise full potential.
Associations call on Commission President Juncker to make EU market fit for renewables
The continuation of the energy transition and, in particular, the continued cost-effective integration of renewables in the energy system require an appropriate market framework. The Commission’s upcoming legislative proposals on market design need to adjust market rules to flexible renewable energy generation.
11 companies call for investor protection in EU
While the industry acknowledges the need to adjust regulatory frameworks over time to respond to declining technology costs and market developments, retroactive changes are a misguided answer and erode investor confidence in the EU energy infrastructure sector where costs are sunk from the moment of the investment and there is very limited ability to improve profitability thereafter. Accordingly, investors in the space have no choice but to expect long-term regulatory stability for renewable energy plants. Thus any regulatory change should be concerted, non-retroactive, non-discriminatory, and avoid any legal gaps that would undermine investor certainty.
Wind energy: backbone of the EU global leadership in renewables
The European Commission’s President Jean-Claude Juncker has pledged in 2014 to make the EU’s the “world number one in renewables”. Wind energy is set to be the backbone of the EU’s global leadership in renewables as it will provide the largest contribution – 23,9% – to the 2030 EU-wide renewable energy target. Global leadership requires proactive industrial, innovation and trade policies that sustain a vibrant home market. This paper aims to input to the Energy Union Integrated strategy for research, innovation and competitiveness, the European Union’s trade agenda and the upcoming legislative package on renewable energy and market design.
Implementation guidelines for the network code requirements for generators
In May 2016, ENTSO-e developed and published the European network code on requirements for generators. It provides a large number of not fully defined requirements and specifications. In many cases, these non-exhaustive requirements lead to ambiguity on the technical performance needed, as well as to uncertainty on the regulatory framework for implementing the new set of rules, which will apply as from May 2019.
The present document aims at facilitating the implementation of the European network code by providing the views and expertise of the wind industry sector on the technical issues of fault ride through and reactive power capability.
Associations say EU law must hold Member States to account on renewables ambition
In October 2014, 28 EU Heads of State agreed that a binding target for renewables should be set at EU level to meet their collective climate and energy ambition. Since then, the European Parliament has consistently backed a binding renewable energy target for 2030, most recently in June 2016.
The EU power sector faces an investment dilemma owing to overcapacities and old infrastructure and the new to quickly reduce emissions in the power sector. A proper assessment on the future system adequacy has to happen before introducing regulatory mechanism that incentivise investments on additional capacity. WindEurope shows in this position paper the benefits for member states if they chose a coordinated regional approach, which is based on probabilistic methods that account for the contribution of variable renewable energy sources.
Priority dispatch and curtailment
Making the market fit for renewables requires additional efforts on curtailment rules and priority dispatch provision. The latter has been instrumental in bringing wind power growth to covers 11.4% of the EU’s total electricity consumption today. Current discussions on its removal and the possibility to apply retroactive changes undermine investors’ confidence, which could slow down the agreed energy transition. WindEurope explains the market design conditions necessary to provide a level playing field to wind generators and eventually reduce curtailments.
WindEurope expects up to 76GW of installed wind energy capacity to reach the end of their operational life between 2020 and 2030. Repowering allows harnessing more wind power whilst preserving jobs for local communities. The position paper lays out how member states can incentivise repowering, alongside greenfield projects, to help meet the 2030 targets cost-effectively.
Industry statement: Making the EU ETS relevant after the Paris Agreement
Despite adopting measures such as backloading, the Market Stability Reserve (MSR) and an increased Linear Reduction Factor (LRF), the surplus of allowances will continue to depress the market in the short to medium term, keeping ETS ineffective as a robust carbon price signal until late into the 2020s. We, a group of companies involved across the energy sector, urge you to use the current revision of EU ETS to deliver the required low carbon investment signals to meet the long term objective agreed in Paris.
Safe energy supply also depends on a balancing the electricity system. A number of generation and demand options offer balancing services today. From a technical point of view, wind power plants could already contribute to these services but in most cases the markets are not well-suited for the participation of renewable energy technologies. This is why WindEurope has developed the industry’s “ten commandments” for better procurement rules and pricing system. As a general principle, all generators should have the right – but not the obligation – to participate as well as receive adequate remuneration.
Renewables associations call for strong national plans on Energy Union
The EU renewable energy sector welcomes the development of integrated national plans and reports as part of the governance of the Energy Union but stresses that streamlining of planning and reporting obligations should not come at the expense of detailed and good quality data. National plans for the post-2020 period should be based on standardised, binding templates enshrined in legislation to ensure the cost-effective delivery of the 2030 EU renewables target. The European Commission should also pursue an active political dialogue with Member States to make sure that concrete national commitments and enabling policies for renewables are in place in due time.
Renewables associations call on EC to model higher RES targets
To maintain global leadership in renewables, Europe should now make a firm and resolute commitment to a flourishing and vibrant domestic renewable energy market by 2030. The European renewables industry calls on the European Commission to factor in higher renewable energy ambition in the post-2020 Renewable Energy Directive.
Principles for an effective Innovation Fund
To become the world’s number one in renewable energy technologies, it is vital for the EU and its member states to bolster leading technologies in Europe’s renewable energy industry through strong industrial and innovation policies. The new Innovation Fund should build on the lessons learnt from the NER 300 to further boost investments in innovative and sustainable energy technologies.
WindEurope’s position on the post-2020 Renewable Energy Directive
A robust post-2020 renewables regulatory framework is key to securing the EU’s position as the world number one in renewables and maximising the benefits of wind deployment to the European economy. WindEurope believes that Member States will need to raise ambition towards a collective EU renewables target of at least 30% to match international competition and foster a vibrant home market sustaining the European wind industry’s competitive edge and technology innovation efforts.
WindEurope response to public consultation on “Streamlining planning and reporting obligations as part of the Energy Union governance”
On 11 January 2016, the European Commission launched a public consultation on national planning and reporting obligations for the post-2020 period in the framework of the Energy Union governance regime. WindEurope calls for a reliable planning and reporting process that can provide early visibility on national 2030 renewable energy commitments and policies and ensure the cost-effective delivery of the binding EU renewable energy target.
EWEA Position papers
Follow the link to view previous position papers.