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WindEurope calls for policy consistency

EUROPE: The wind power industry is ready to play by market rules, WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson told a conference in Brussels, but revenue stabilisation mechanisms and safeguards against retroactive policy decisions are needed.

WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson called for the retroactive changing of wind energy policies and business arrangements to be banned
WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson called for the retroactive changing of wind energy policies and business arrangements to be banned

Speaking at the Council of European Energy Regulators’ (CEER’s) Digitalisation, Decarbonisation and Dynamic Regulation conference, Dickson said stable revenue could attract investors, while in the past, retroactive measures had stifled the market’s growth and investors’ confidence.

He called for revenue stabilisation mechanisms to help attract investors and for the retroactive changing of wind energy policies and business arrangements to be banned.

The wind power industry would need huge investment if the EU was to meet its renewable energy targets, Dickson reasoned. To attract risk-averse investors, revenue stabilisation mechanisms would need to be in place, he argued.

Dickson pointed to the European Parliament energy committee’s decision in February to phase-out priority dispatch for new projects from 2020 and make balancing the responsibility of project owners, as retroactive policy decisions that would be detrimental to the wind power industry.

With the removal of priority dispatch, governments may be discouraged from increasing the flexibility of their system — which would make it more costly to increase shares of wind energy, he claimed.

To prevent this, Dickson said creating transparent curtailment rules that do not discriminate against renewables.

He also suggested: minimising standards that push wind power producers out of the market when demand is low; transmission system operators (TSOs), regulators and governments working together to remove grid bottlenecks; using market-friendly revenue stabilisation mechanisms, such as the UK’s contracts for difference (CfD) scheme; and promoting smart electrification and sector coupling to accelerate the decarbonisation of Europe’s economy.

Dickson also called for a ban on the retroactive changing of wind energy policies and business arrangements.

He added installations that were granted priority dispatch or balancing exemptions should be able to keep those privileges on which they based their business plan.

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