REA Welcomes DECC’s EMR White Paper Update but Calls for Clarification on Energy Performance Standards

Comments from the REA’s Chief Executive, Gaynor Hartnell, on DECC’s Electricity Market Reforms White Paper Technical Update


“Some renewable projects take more than five years from inception to commissioning.  Project developers are hungry to hear the detail on the new arrangements.  Those looking to develop actual technologies need a longer perspective still.  We’ve got a bit more clarity today but look forward to hearing more early next year and working with Government on how the contracting arrangements take shape.

“We had called for a market-wide capacity mechanism, so we welcome this decision.  We’re happy to see the separation of roles, with Government setting out objectives and an independent body – National Grid – being charged with their implementation.

“…But why we have to wait a couple of months before we know that energy-from-waste technologies won’t be damaged by the Emissions Performance Standard, I just don’t know.”

On the capacity mechanism

“We asked for a market wide mechanism because it is not appropriate to single out particular types of generation that contribute to security and others that do not. No generation can be relied upon 100% at any one moment, and if a truly intermittent generator is generating at times when capacity is scarce, then its output is just as valuable at that time as any other type of generation.”

On the Emissions Performance Standard

“We wrote in July to seek clarification that the EPS would not prevent energy-from-waste or gasification plants being built, and we’re at a loss to know why this can’t be settled straight away.  With these technologies being made a priority for the Green Investment Bank one assumes that we’ll eventually get the right answer.  If we don’t, then the only option for wastes will be incineration (without power recovery), landfill, or export, which is contrary to the proximity principle and the goal of energy security.”

On National Grid’s role

“What we want to know is this:  If the Government sets the prices for the Feed-in Tariff contracts and sets out its expectation on how much capacity it anticipates, what does it expect National Grid to do if things don’t go to plan?  What will happen if it’s clear there will be an overshoot in capacity?  Conversely, if the price is too low and developers aren’t interested in signing contracts, can it do anything to help?”

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