Integrating intermittent renewables sources into the EU electricity system by 2020

May 25, 2010 | 00:00

Integrating intermittent renewables sources into the EU electricity system by 2020: challenges and solutions

The EU’s decision to have at least 20% of its energy supplied by renewable sources by 2020 means that European electricity markets will have to reach a renewables share of 30-35% of all generation sources, according to most estimates. The increased production of renewables will, to a large extent, be based on wind and solar power, which are by their nature intermittent, unpredictable and unevenly geographically distributed. The resultant increase in the amounts these types of RES will have significant and far-reaching effects on both the electricity market and on transmission and distribution grids.

Eurelectric fully supports the 2020 targets and has committed to initiatives to decarbonise the EU electricity sector by 2050. The aim of our association’s work is not to question political targets, but to identify and propose efficient solutions to policy makers so as to assist them in meeting their agreed targets; this paper follows the same approach. As a general conclusion, this paper demonstrates how market integration, a policy goal per se set by the EU, becomes even more urgent and indispensable to ensure a sustainable and secure power system in the face of increasing levels of intermittent generation. Renewables targets and Security of Supply standards should not supersede the creation of a single EU market, but rather be part of the same strategy; we believe none of the three EU energy policy objectives can be reached without the other two.

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