capacity markets

The End of the Energiewende?

Energiewende demonstration in 2014 (photo Bundjugend)

The prominent German economist Heiner Flassbeck has challenged fundamental assumptions of the Energiewende at his blog site According to Flassbeck, the former Director of Macroeconomics and Development at the UNCTAD in Geneva and a former State Secretary of Finance, a recent period of extremely low solar and wind power generation shows that Germany will never be able to rely on renewable energy, regardless of  how much new capacity … [Read more...]

A rush to subsidies as power plants in Europe face existential threat

Abengoa solar power plant in Spain (photo Wim Hertog)

So-called capacity markets are driving what appears to be a major new trend in energy policy across Europe: more public subsidies for electric utilities, writes independent consultant Gerard Wynn. In a new report for the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), Wynn takes a critical look at capacity payments in Spain, which cost taxpayers €1 billion annually. Meanwhile, the UK just forked out £1.2 billion in a capacity … [Read more...]

EU energy package: What it means for coal, renewables and efficiency

Commissioners Anna-Kaisa Itkonen, Maroš Šefčovič, Miguel Arias Cañete present Winter Package (photo Europe by Satellite)

The literature on EU energy regulations got longer by about a thousand pages [on 30 November], as the European Commission put forward its vision for achieving a “clean energy transition”, writes Sophie Yeo for Carbon Brief. The vast collection of documents — including revisions to directives, impact assessments, enquiries and new regulations — will determine the future of energy in the EU up to 2030. It touches upon subjects including coal … [Read more...]

Demand response can drastically lower energy bills – if suppliers don’t get “compensated”

photo Tom Taker

New research commissioned by the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP) finds that demand flexibility can save many billions of euros in electricity costs. As the European Commission is pondering the design of a new and interconnected energy market for Europe, it needs to make sure these benefits are realised, writes Phil Baker, Senior Advisor at RAP. Brussels should resist calls to “compensate” energy suppliers for perceived losses as a result of … [Read more...]

Interview Maroš Šefčovič, VP Energy Union: “I made the promise 2016 would be year of delivery and I intend to keep it”

photo Europe by Satellite

“If we want a cost-effective transition to a low-carbon economy, we have to create an internal energy market where European rules apply”, says Maroš Šefčovič, the European Commission’s Vice President for the Energy Union, in an exclusive interview with Energy Post. According to Šefčovič, “big parts of our energy market are [still] overregulated”. To take a decisive leap towards the Energy Union, the Commission has decided to put all its energy … [Read more...]

How solar growth will wreck the economics of existing power markets

real solar power photo Bjoern Schwarz-slider

Continued solar growth could lead to significant decreases in wholesale electricity prices during most peak hours, writes Alex Gilbert, cofounder of US-based energy research platform Spark Library, in an article analysing the effects of solar power on electricity markets. While lower wholesale prices can impact solar’s growth they will also hurt other energy sources, particularly coal and nuclear but also natural gas and energy efficiency. … [Read more...]

Capacity mechanisms: DG Competition and DG Energy clash over future of EU energy market

Margrethe Vestager presents sector inquiry electricity capacity mechanisms (photo Europe by Satellite)

EU member states are setting up capacity mechanisms that may be unnecessary, expensive and badly designed. This is the conclusion of the European Commission's Competition Directorate in the interim report of its first ever “sector enquiry” into capacity mechanisms as a form of state aid for electricity producers. But the report shows that DG Competition has a different view than DG Energy about the future of the EU's energy market design, writes … [Read more...]