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EWEA calls for more balanced power markets

22.06.2009

In its response to a recent public consultation from the European Regulators Group for Electricity and Gas (ERGEG) on Electricity Grid Connection and Access, EWEA underlined the need for a level playing field on the power markets, grid code harmonisation and priority grid access for renewables projects. The aim of ERGEG’s public consultation was to provide input for future Framework Guidelines on grid connection and access. These will be prepared by the newly established Agency for the Cooperation of European Regulators (ACER).

EU-wide non-discriminatory and fair treatment of all grid users

One of EWEA’s key points in its response was that a level playing field for grid access is essential. The grid was developed for traditional power plants and has long been dominated by vertically-integrated power companies which were able to block newer power generation technologies such as renewables. Europe is now moving in the direction of more liberalised power markets, but decision makers and stakeholders in the electricity sector still need to make the necessary changes to the grid infrastructure in Europe.

Priority grid access for renewables projects, as per the recently adopted Renewables Energy directive and Internal Electricity Market directive compensate for the discrimination against renewables in the internal electricity market, as well as helping reduce CO2 emissions and electricity prices for consumers.

Principles for provisions for voltage and frequency quality

Connecting wind farms to the transmission and distribution grids causes changes in the local grid voltage levels. Clear rules are needed to ensure that the grid keeps operating well and safely when generators are connected. Wind farms are required by TSOs to provide control and regulation capabilities. Modern variable speed wind turbines are capable of meeting all requirements. However, technical requirements should only be applied if there is a true technical rationale for them and if their introduction is required for reliable and power system operation.

Harmonisation of grid codes

With the growing penetration of wind energy, EWEA believes that there is an increasing need to develop a harmonised set of grid code requirements to maximise efficiency for all parties. However, it is not practical to completely harmonise technical requirements immediately, since this could lead to the unnecessary implementation of the most stringent requirements from each Member State, which would not be efficient or economically sound. EWEA believes a harmonisation exercise is needed.

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