EDSO preparing new renewable energy directive

Renewable Energy Directive - EDSO Response to the EC consultation

EDSO welcomes this publication from the European Commission (EC) on the preparation of a new renewable energy directive for the period after 2020.

The current directive has fueled renewable growth and its recast should pave the way for a decarbonised energy future and limit the current regulatory uncertainty. Distribution System Operators (DSOs) are facilitating the transformation of the power system, by connecting most of the renewable energy sources (RES) to the grid. This role will become even more important as RES are expected to grow due to a combination of support schemes and declining technology price.

EDSO wants to bring the following points to policy makers’ attention:

• More RES will translate into more (and smarter) grids, as siting a large share of RES at local level will require DSO’s to upgrade local grids which were not designed to connect small generators. DSOs should be enabled and incentivised to invest in smart network management solutions;

• Support schemes should not create revenue uncertainty for distribution companies. Support schemes for renewables are useful tools to reach the European energy policy objectives, however some of them - such as net metering - create a significant revenue uncertainty for DSOs and should be avoided;

• New roles must be granted to DSOs to manage their networks efficiently. DSOs have to rethink network management to accomodate electricity flowing from the central system to consumers, and vice-versa. Consequently, DSOs need extended responsibilities and a larger toolbox;

• Better local planning is key to use RES efficiently. Connecting distributed RES implies strike the right balance between project profitability, grid reinforcement, expected energy output, environmental constraints, etc, and requires a close cooperation between RES project developers, local authorities and network operators.