‘Small is Beautiful’ – A call for a “de minimis” approach on the framework for small renewable & co-generation installations.
On 15 May, UIPI joined the campaign “Small is Beautiful” launched by SolarPower Europe, to provide a supporting voice in favour of small renewable electricity producers on maintaining priority dispatch and being exempted from grid balancing responsibilities.
The European Union has made a clear commitment to become a global leader in renewable energies. The Clean Energy Package, the EU’s flagship policy package proposed in November 2016 is the main driver to achieve its ambitious targets for at least a 27% share of renewable energy by 2030. Part of this policy package is the Electricity Market Design framework which should ensure that rapid deployment of renewable energy is sufficiently encouraged for both large and small-scale generation projects.
However, in a recent assessment carried out by the European Commission, the foreseen removal of the current balancing responsibility exemption regime and priority dispatch for small producers, will most likely result in serious technical and administrative burdens. The most heavily impaired by these changes will be the small producers including small and medium enterprises (SMEs) who wish to engage in the energy transition.
UIPI, acknowledging the consequences of these measures and the burden that will be created for small generators, gives its full support to this campaign, recognising the right of “prosumers” to participate in energy transition and be properly compensated in the electricity market.
With negotiations ongoing for the recast of the Electricity Market Design Regulation, the “Small is Beautiful” campaign aims at highlighting the benefits of small-scale, clean and locally owned installations to move progressively towards a decentralised energy system. In order to enable “prosumers” to participate in the energy transition, it is necessary that the balancing responsibility exemptions and priority dispatch will remain in place. This is due to the fact that European power markets are mostly not yet «fit» for small installations and removing such exemptions would cause disproportionate costs and technical and administrative burdens for consumers and SMEs.