COGEN Europe has responded to the consultation paper communiqué this week by the European Commission, entitled Generation adequacy, capacity mechanisms and the internal market in electricity.
Through the consultation the Commission wished to establish whether and how member states can work better together to ensure a more coordinated approach to assessing generation adequacy and security in the internal electricity market.
The COGEN Europe body which is the representative European Association for the Promotion of Cogeneration, welcomed it and the main messages it contains, in particular the call for member states to take all necessary steps to ensure a fully functioning internal energy market by 2014.
COGEN Europe called on the Commission to take a holistic approach and look at electricity demand, infrastructure needs and bottlenecks fixing (from cross-border lines to distribution networks).
In addition COGEN made recommendations in its contribution, after calling for an undertaking by all national regulatory authorities to complete screening of the potential of demand side participation and of an uptake of decentralised power production to address the generation adequacy challenge.
The statement added that “curtailment of electricity peak demand and local use of generated electricity have to be part of the equation.”
“Such (capacity) mechanisms shall aim at an enhanced use of existing plants with potential for flexibility or at creating new flexible generation capacity but certainly not at supporting base load and inflexible power plants.”
The main recommendations from COGEN Europe, depending on a capacity mechanism being introduced, included specific mention of combined heat and power plants.
COGEN recommended that the capacity mechanism should not be limiting its scope to supporting the electricity system but should also encompass expected benefits to energy markets in a broader sense, and notably in the heating and cooling markets.
“This mechanism shall for instance take into consideration the maximization of the contribution from CHP plants, existing and possible new built, to securing electricity supply while delivering affordable and low carbon heating/cooling. Under that approach, the mode of operation of CHP plants, in particular the number of operating hours and the annual output, but also available alternative for generating heating and cooling should be looked at.”
They added that the proposed scheme, and in particular its administrative and technical requirements, have to be clear and understandable for owners and operators of cogeneration installations.
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