Solar photovoltaic industry to Energy Ministers on internal market: 'Promote flexibility'

Europe’s regulatory framework for the completion of the internal energy market should take into account the rapid growth and new opportunities provided by renewable energy sources, says the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA). Europe’s solar industry urges EU Energy Ministers meeting today to unleash the potential of the internal energy market to the benefit of consumers and the environment.

"The internal energy market should be readied to attain the strategic EU goals of competitiveness, emissions reduction and secure energy supply," said EPIA Policy Director Frauke Thies. "The balance between supply and demand of electricity in the system should be considered in a wide context, taking into account the contribution made to it by photovoltaics and other renewables, coupled with increased efforts for a smarter grid system, active demand side management and storage technologies."

EPIA calls on Member States to adopt and implement national flexibility strategies coordinated across Europe and strike a cost-effective balance between demand side management, storage and interconnection. This has to be a precondition to costly and potentially irreversible remuneration mechanisms aligning generation with demand in the system.

In a response to the European Commission’s November 2012 communication on the internal energy market, EPIA points out that, at the European level, the generation capacity currently in place will be sufficient until 2020, according to most scenarios. But there is a question as to whether the necessary capacity can be made available where and when it is needed, under the current design of the energy market.

"Currently, Europe does not primarily face a shortage of power plants, but a shortage of flexibility in the electricity system. Instead of focusing on generation capacity, European Ministers should unlock flexibility solutions to make the most of available generation capacity and growing renewables in the grid," said Thies.

To read EPIA’s reply to the European Commission communication, click here.