Status of network and market integration of renewable energies in the EU

23.11.2011

Oeko-Institut has analysed the status of the integration of renewable energies in the electricity network and market for the 27 EU member states. The 27 national reports, which were compiled with the project partner Eclareon, contain detailed research and analyses on existing regulatory framework conditions and the actual situation in the 27 EU member states.

The RES Integration national reports can be downloaded in English here.

On behalf of the EU Commission researchers at Oeko-Institut and Eclareon analysed how EU member states promote renewable energies. In accordance with an EU target, EU member states have to draw a specific share of their energy consumption from renewable energies by 2020. In the EU overall, a share of 20 per cent of energy consumption is to come from renewable sources.

On this basis each EU member state has derived targets for electricity production from solar, wind and hydro power. To achieve these targets, the integration of renewable electricity production in the networks needs to be optimised. When the share of renewable energies grows, the pressure also increases for these plants to react to market signals and, for example, produce electricity when demand is high.

Network integration: Identifying barriers

With a view to electricity networks, Eclareon analysed the national studies to identify what barriers there are to network integration and how these can be overcome. This includes questions relating to network connection, network access and network expansion for the EU 27 countries. In this way, experts at Eclareon clarified, for example, the question of how the costs of grid connection are distributed, the conditions under which the power plants are likely to be removed from the grid and how network expansion is regulated.

Market integration: Incorporating renewables

Experts at Oeko-Institut analysed the situation with regard to renewables on national electricity markets. On the one hand they examined how current governmental support instruments for eco-electricity approach market integration. On the other hand they assessed the extent to which the national markets are designed in such a way that renewables can become market participants despite their particular characteristics like fluctuating production.

The analysis shows that the markets can improve their integration of fluctuating electricity production today. By examining support instruments, a large range of different strategies can be observed. While network integration of the first plant onwards is necessary for the expansion of renewable energies, the extent to which the plants should be exposed to market risk still needs to be clarified in the case of market integration.

End-of-project conference in Brussels

On 7 December 2011 the project partners presented the final report in Brussels. The team of researchers was discussing the conclusions for policy with, amongst others, representatives from the EU Commission, European regulators, and the European wind sector. The aim of these discussions was to improve implementation of the Renewable Energy Directive in EU member states. The project’s final report will be published subsequent to the conference. Please find the workshop presentations on the project website.

Downloadable information

27 national reports of Oeko-Institut’s and Eclareon’s RES Integration project.

An additional EU project on the expansion of renewable energies

Within the scope of the Res4less project, Oeko-Institut is currently analysing with other European partners how EU member states can work together in the expansion of renewable energies, how they can use the so-called coordination mechanisms and what this means for the expansion of network infrastructure.

Further information can be found on Oeko-Institut’s Res4less project website.

Contact at Oeko-Institut

Dierk BauknechtResearcher Energy & ClimateOeko-Institut, Freiburg Head OfficePhone +49-761/45295-230E-mail