Energy UK was in attendance of this year’s Power-Gen conference in Amsterdam on 9 June 2015. Mary Donnelly, the Commission’s Director of Renewables and Energy Efficiency, gave a keynote address. This keynote started off by addressing energy policy.
She noted that energy policy was increasingly affected by international events, e.g. Fukushima, the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the shale-gas boom. Europe, despite being one of the largest consumers of oil, continues to have no influence on the oil price. It followed that energy policy could no longer be conducted in separate “boxes” around Europe. Ms Donnelly welcomed the agreement on regional energy cooperation reached between 13 north and west-European countries early June 2015.
In particular the 13 governments had agreed:
- To assess generation adequacy on a regional as well as national basis;
- To maintain cross-border flows even in times of market scarcity;
- To avoid imposing caps on wholesale prices.
She argued that at present European energy markets were neither providing the necessary services to customers not giving the right investment signals.
The Commission would publish a consultation in July covering four main points:
- generation adequacy/CRMs,
- demand-side response,
- the value of flexibility
- governance of the single market.
Markets at all timescales would have to adapt to the growth of renewables, and conversely renewables would have to adapt to markets. The Commission would table draft legislation on these topics by the end of 2016. It was now becoming common for customers to generate their own electricity and so the Commission would also publish a paper on “self-consumption” in July.
Ms Donnelly was more positive on progress in energy efficiency, where she said that the EU had succeeded in decoupling growth from energy consumption. Even so, further efforts were still needed and the Commission would focus particularly on the heating sector, which accounts for nearly half totally energy use. In research and innovation, the Commission’s priorities will be smart technologies, energy efficiency, renewables and sustainable transport.