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The European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research & Energy (ITRE) has voted to modernise Europe’s electricity markets. The ITRE Committee gave its green light to the recast Electricity Directive & Regulation, two of the main files in the Clean Energy Package.

Priority dispatch – which guarantees renewables are injected first into the grid – will continue to apply to existing wind farms. For new assets priority dispatch will be phased out from 2020 onwards. In its place come better rules on curtailment. In the case of grid congestion, renewables will be curtailed last and properly compensated for it.

The Parliament voted to retroactively phase out balancing requirements, both for new and existing installations. It means that renewables assets will no longer be exempted from compensating Transmission System Operators (TSOs) for any deviations in their projected generation. 

The Parliament also voted to introduce an Emission Performance Standard (EPS) from 2020 of 550 gr CO2/kWh for capacity payments. This would phase out capacity payments for Europe’s most inefficient and polluting power plants. This should leave more room in the market for renewables. And apply immediately for new installations instead of after five years as the European Council proposed. 

Finally, the Parliament also gave its support to a European-level monitoring of the security of electricity supply. This is significant as any country seeking to apply a national capacity mechanism would need to justify this based on European – and not national – resource adequacy assessments.

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