European Commission
EU Energy policy stipulates a target of 80% consumers connected to smart metering systems by 2020 to member states' grids.

The European Commission has drawn up a new winter energy package which attempts to bring together national energy strategies to satisfy supporters of coal, nuclear and REFirst published by EurActiv France, the package due for release on 30 November 2016, is divided into eight texts, and has been put together in light of diverging views across Europe forced the EU executive to adopt a more imaginative approach, reports EurActiv.com.

EurActiv.fr suggested that the “winter package will make priority grid access for renewable energies a thing of the past, while extending subsidies for fossil fuels through new so-called ‘capacity mechanisms’”. [European DSOs call on EC to revise Third Energy Package]

Climate commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete said at the COP22 in Marrakesh, said: “Our proposals are based on a broad consultation and still have to be finalised and approved by the College of Commissioners.

“What is certain is that we will push for the highest ambition in our energy policies, particularly on energy efficiency.”

What about RE production?

EurActiv reports that considering renewable energy sources such as wind, “the end of priority grid access is not only bad news but also comes as recognition that the sector has matured and doesn’t need support to stand on its feet.”

Georg Zachmann, a senior fellow at Bruegel, an economic think tank based in Brussels, reportedly said: “Renewables nowadays are typically being produced at zero marginal cost so they will be called in first,”

EurActiv explains that renewables are now the cheapest option, meaning they would get priority grid access anyway, based on price only. [IRENA renewables report analyses global deployment benefits]

“Renewables have come from a niche technology to the mainstream. More than half of the capacity additions in Europe have been renewable technologies. So the idea is that they start playing by the same rules as everybody else,” Zachmann explained.

“So it would be good to have a market signal for building wind turbines also in the Black Forest for example,” Zachmann told EurActiv, stating that new technology allows wind turbines to run efficiently at lower speeds.

The European Commission said: “The physical nature of renewable energies – more variable, unpredictable and decentralised than traditional generation – also ‘requires an adaptation of market and grid operation rules to the more flexible nature of the market.”