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POSITION PAPER: EPIA replies to the European Commission's public consultation on Retail Energy Markets

Date : April 2014

By Giorgia Concas, Policy Advisor

EPIA sees the Commission’s policy document which will follow this consultation as the trigger for fostered competition in retail electricity markets. More offers centered on the energy component of electricity bills are not enough. A real change of paradigm is needed, from commodity-based to services-based markets. In such markets, consumption and production of electricity should no longer be treated differently, as services will be based on a mix of both.

Further details are available here.


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New EPIA "Global Market Outlook for Photovoltaics 2014-2018" to be launched at Intersolar Europe

Date : April 2014

By Benjamin Fontaine, Senior Communications Advisor

A comprehensive assessment of the evolution of European and global markets, detailed 5-year forecasts, an analysis of the role of PV in the European energy sector, and key insights on industry trends - You will find all this in EPIA's upcoming publication, to be released at Intersolar Europe.
  • WHAT: "Global Market Outlook for Photovoltaics 2014-2018" presented during the Intersolar Europe Conference Opening Session, followed by a dedicated Press Conference
  • WHO: EPIA President, Oliver Schäfer
  • WHEN: Monday 02 June 2014, 10h00 (Opening Session) and 12h00 (Press Conference)
  • WHERE: Intersolar Europe, Munich, Germany
2013 was another record-year for PV installations, with at least 37 GW of newly-added capacity around the globe. The internationalisation trend observed in the past year has accentuated, with Asia taking over the lead over Europe in new PV installations.

The European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) will launch its new report, "Global Market Outlook for Photovoltaics 2014-2018", on 02 June 2014 at Intersolar Europe in Munich. The report assesses European and global PV markets historical evolution, and makes detailed forecasts for the next five years. It also analyses the role that PV is playing in the European energy sector and provides a good understanding of the main industry trends.

Join EPIA at Intersolar Europe! Come visit us on our booth, n° A2.571.

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The Overview of Support Schemes extended and revamped - Q2 2014 is now available

Date : April 2014
EPIA has extended, updated and revamped its quarterly overview of support schemes in Europe. The overview provides a synthetic, though complete overview of existing support schemes for PV in 31 countries in Europe (EU 28, Switzerland, Turkey and Ukraine).

Please find the overview here (log in to the Members Area of the website first).

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The presentation of the Policy-Communications WG & National Associations Task Force Webinar is now available

Date : April 2014
The presentation of the Policy-Communications WG & National Associations Task Force Webinar that took place on 10 April 2014 is now available online for EPIA Members.

To access the presentation and agenda slides, click here (log in first to the Members Area of the website).

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PRESS RELEASE - State Aid Rules: Commission denies potential of small-scale renewables

Date : April 2014

By Benjamin Fontaine, Senior Communications Advisor

The European Commission will present on 09 April 2014 its new Environmental and Energy Aid Guidelines (EEAG) for the period 2014-2020. EPIA warns that this revised State Aid regime discriminates against small-scale generation and could badly harm the Member States’ ability to design efficient and adequate measures to support the uptake of different renewable energy technologies.

Read the Press Release here.

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EDITORIAL: What’s next for the voice of photovoltaics in Europe

Date : April 2014

By Oliver Schäfer, EPIA President

As the new EPIA President, let me introduce you to the renewed EPIA and the many changes that are underway. After times of rapid industry consolidation, trade conflicts and uncertainty, the time is now for EPIA to break off to new shores. The direction is clear: As The Voice of PV in Europe, we lay claim to leading opinions, innovating and driving key decisions on energy policy across the continent.  
First of all, we will increase focus on policy advocacy to ensure we get the necessary legislation allowing PV to grow from a niche player to a mainstream electricity provider. In particular, we will continue working in close cooperation with the other European renewable energy associations, fighting for ambitious and legally binding 2030 targets for renewable energy, which are crucial for the future development of renewables in Europe.

To develop favourable and sustainable framework conditions for PV in Europe, we will increasingly engage in the European decision-making process on the most important regulations shaping the energy sector and PV development, remaining in permanent contact with decision makers at all levels of the EU institutions. We will strengthen our voice, deliver targeted messages to those who make the decisions, defend the interests of our sector strongly and loudly, and make EPIA much more influential than it is today. We are for instance engaging actively in the definition of State Aid Guidelines to secure sustainable development conditions and support frameworks for PV, for as long as it is needed.  Parallel to that, we are providing input on the framework conditions that will be necessary for the time after the expiry of PV support schemes.

As PV has grown out of a niche-market, EPIA is proactively engaging with electricity system and market stakeholders to make PV become a strong player in the energy sector. We will continue to give high importance to profound intelligence work that has put the association in the right position today to be the opinion-leader and trailblazer for fundamental questions of energy market design and PV system integration.
 
Furthermore, to increase both our political weight and vision, we will seek to form new alliances with strategic partners that can help us grow, such as neighbouring sectors, system operators, other energy technology players, small- and large-scale utilities, aggregators and energy service providers, investors and many other important actors.

EPIA is now heading straight with a clear vision and goals. To make these many changes happen and accompany the birth of the new EPIA, a new Secretary General will be appointed very soon to replace Reinhold Buttgereit who stepped down from his position at the end of March. EPIA needs your support to change the way the world is powered. Support EPIA, support the energy transition!

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HIGHLIGHT: A competitive Europe needs renewables

Date : April 2014

By Frauke Thies, Policy Director

The European Heads of States and Governments will discuss the 2030 climate and energy framework proposals in June with the objective to reach an agreement in October. EPIA, together with the other European renewable energy associations, has been repeatedly calling on EU leaders to fully grasp the long-term benefits of an ambitious nationally-binding EU renewable energy target.
The European economy is heavily exposed to volatile fossil fuel prices and insecure fossil fuel imports, especially in these days of geopolitical turmoil at our borders. At the same time, it must increasingly confront climate change. Finally, it is facing international competition in sectors of strategic importance for Europe’s growth. While a sustainable and cost-efficient energy mix can help Europe tackle all these challenges, EU leaders seem however to remain undecided on the approach to adopt for the years to come.

According to the European Commission’s own Impact Assessment, the proposals that the Heads of States will discuss in June are not the ones that would bring the most benefits by 2030. While a 2030 framework based on a truly ambitious and binding renewable energy target would deliver major savings, the discussion has been pre-formatted to only consider the least ambitious pathway.

An ambitious 2030 climate and energy framework based on a nationally-binding renewable EU energy target is not only justified from a macro-economic viewpoint, but it is also crucial for businesses and investors. Both Europe’s economy and its citizens would greatly benefit from a strong commitment of EU leaders towards the energy transition. Such commitment needs to go beyond a simple volatile CO2 price and thus drive investments into capital-intensive clean energy technologies, such as photovoltaics. This would allow EU citizens to enjoy a secure and clean energy supply, healthier living conditions and a boosted job market, while the European economy would take advantage of a competitive and stable energy framework.

EPIA will continue calling on the Heads of States and Governments to fully reap the benefits of a more sustainable energy system and to agree on an ambitious nationally-binding EU renewable energy target for 2030. 

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The internal energy market needs to bring real benefits to consumers

Date : April 2014

By Frauke Thies, Policy Director

In the coming months the European Commission is expected to put forward new proposals to enhance the functioning of retail energy markets. Almost 20 years after the first Directive setting common rules for the internal electricity market, concrete benefits from the liberalisation process to European consumers remain sketchy at best.
While we have seen progress on wholesale markets, final consumers still have a limited choice to reduce and control their energy bills. National wholesale electricity markets have become more integrated and more liquid. The development of renewable energies in recent years has contributed to the increase in liquidity and, due to their very low fuel costs, renewables have also driven wholesale prices down. Such price decrease benefits large consumers which buy electricity directly on the wholesale market. Nevertheless, the energy component of households’ electricity bills in Europe has even slightly increased over the last years, as the decreasing trend in prices on the wholesale market has not been passed on to them.

To increase final consumers’ benefits, enhanced competitiveness in retail electricity markets is a must. In particular, demand response and micro-generation should be further enabled and encouraged. The engagement of end-users as an active part of the electricity system would increase consumer benefits, enhance security of supply, and facilitate more efficient electricity markets. As part of such a strategy, the new Retail Market Initiative should encourage energy consumers to produce sustainable energy for their own needs. This would enable “prosumers” to reduce their energy costs while positively contributing to the integration of micro-generation technologies, such as photovoltaics, into the electricity grid. Furthermore, the strain on the power system would decrease, especially during the mid-day peak demand, when a photovoltaic system generates the most electricity. In order to exploit these benefits it is crucial that the new Retail Market Initiative includes measures to lift the existing barriers and develop favourable regulatory frameworks for self-consumption of electricity.

Consumers and prosumers also need a better access to services that enable them to become an active part of the power system while reducing their energy costs. Aggregators are crucial intermediaries that can explain possible benefits of micro-generation and demand response to consumers and prosumers, trade their services and electricity, as well as interact with other market and regulated parties on their behalf. Consumers can thus provide flexibility to the energy system without any additional effort. Alongside individual consumer engagement via intermediaries, cooperatives and consumer-driven initiatives such as collective switching also have an important role to play. Renewable energy cooperatives enable involved consumers to gain more control over their energy supply and reduce their energy costs.

Various options to increase the rights and benefits of final energy consumers are directly available and their implementation is feasible. It is crucial that the European Commission now takes them on board while preparing the new Retail Market Initiative.

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EPIA changes offices

Date : April 2014
EPIA has moved to new premises since 1 April 2014. EPIA’s new address is Rue d’Arlon 69-71, 1040 Brussels, Belgium. New telephone and fax numbers will be soon communicated. In the meantime all EPIA team remains reachable via email (unchanged).

Please change your records in order to direct all future correspondence to EPIA’s new address.

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Presentations of the EPIA-SEDC Conference on Consumers Empowerment are now available

Date : March 2014
Presentations of the EPIA-SEDC Conference on Consumers Empowerment that took place on 19 March 2014 in Brussels are now available online.

To access the presentations, click here

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Benjamin Fontaine
EPIA
Contact
Benjamin Fontaine
Senior Communications Advisor
@ : b.fontaine@epia.org
T. : +32 (0)2 709 55 23

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