EU energy regulators call on Brussels to remove net metering and priority dispatch for new RES from Winter Package

The EU Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) and the Council of European Energy Regulators (CEER) have asked the European Commission to avoid a non-market approach in defining the role of renewables in the Clean Energy Package 2020-2030, whose final version is expected to be released in 2018.

In their White Paper on Renewables in the Wholesale Market, the two entities have asked the EC to implement three additional measures that are not being considered in the latest version of package, which is also known as the Winter Package, and that are considered necessary to maintain a market-oriented approach in designing the EU’s future energy market.

The first measure is the extension of the prohibition of priority dispatch for renewable energy power plants, which is currently being planned only for future projects, to all existing installations. This, the two organizations claim, would enable fair competition among all power generation technologies and lower costs for electricity consumers.

The second action recommended by the two agencies is the elimination of net metering schemes, claiming that this would ensure that prosumers “pay their fair share of network and system costs.” According to the two agencies, net metering reduces consumers’ sensitivity to a system in which signals of the time value of the energy and network capacity must be taken into account.

Furthermore, ACER and CEER are proposing to remove the measure included in the package which envisages a 90% compensation for renewable energy curtailment, explaining that market prices for this curtailment may not send good signals in terms of economic merit-order. “Regulators support the proposals for market-based prices being the driver for compensation paid to renewables that are curtailed when there is congestion, and for Transmission System Operators (TSOs) to perform market-based (rather than technology-based) curtailments,” said the two organizations in their press release.

The two organizations added the withe paper is a first of series they will issue on the Winter Package in the upcoming months.