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Renewables growth calls for greater cooperation among EU countries to double flexibility in power system, report says

EU member states could exploit collaboration synergies to unlock flexibility and enhance energy security while contributing to long-term climate neutrality, according to a new joint report released on Friday (20 October) by EU agencies European Environment Agency (EEA) and Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER).

Key “levers” include cross-border planning and forecasting, enhanced use of interconnectors as well as financial incentives and reliable information for electricity consumers to adapt demand when needed, ACER said in a press release.

With the EU 2030 renewables target of 42.5 per cent, this decade will see an accelerated decarbonisation of EU electricity supply, the ACER noted. The joint report underlined the need to double the flexibility of Europe’s power system to keep pace with the growth in renewables.

The report called for EU countries to better assess and have complementary national and EU-wide assessments of flexibility needs, which is currently being discussed in the EU electricity market design reforms.

To foster common policies across borders, the report recommended member states to consider introducing regional cooperation on flexibility into their national energy and climate plans, and include detailed energy data in their greenhouse gas emission projections.

Flexibility is the power system’s ability to adjust to the fluctuating generation and consumption of energy. Flexibility can be provided in different timeframes such as days, weeks or seasons and by different technologies. Peak generation gas plants provide much of the flexibility but with the energy transition, other types of flexibility resources are needed from both the demand and supply side.

In December, ACER will publish a report on barriers to demand response that should help Member States unlock its potential.

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