Last week, the European Commission called on European Union (EU) member countries to add targets for energy storage capacity and demand management to their National Energy and Climate Plans in the Electricity Market Reform Proposal it presented.
The Commission argued that progress in these areas would not only enable greater integration of renewable energy sources into the electricity generation system but also protect end consumers from fluctuations in electricity prices.
The Commission’s study highlighted that natural gas prices currently have a significant impact on electricity prices in the market, and recent price fluctuations due to natural gas prices have exposed a lack of solutions such as demand-side management and energy storage in the electricity market.
The text emphasized that this shortfall in these two areas would become much more pronounced as wind and solar power capacity increases in EU countries.
Tariffs should be set to encourage demand management and storage
In its proposal, the Commission called on member countries to take steps to ensure flexibility in the electricity market and to integrate more renewable energy capacity into their electricity grids.
These steps included setting tariffs in the electricity market that would allow system operators to develop innovative solutions and optimize the grid, as well as encouraging service purchases in these two areas.
The Commission also noted that relevant regulations in countries where capacity mechanisms are applied should be updated to prioritize these two areas.
National targets for storage and demand management should be set
Another important call by the Commission was for EU member countries to set national targets for energy storage and demand management in their National Energy and Climate Plans.
The text emphasized that these steps would enable greater integration of renewable energy investments into the EU’s electricity infrastructure and also benefit electricity consumers.
According to the Commission, these steps would provide appropriate price signals to the electricity market and make it easier to integrate energy storage facilities into the market.
At the same time, the foundations could be laid for small-scale consumers to benefit from their flexibility potential.
The text also highlighted that controlling fluctuations in electricity prices could prevent end consumers’ electricity consumption expenses from increasing.