This September, regulators chalk up a number of highly anticipated reports. This year the annual ACER-CEER Market Monitoring report is split into five volumes. The wholesale gas and electricity market volumes have been ahead of the rest (which will follow on 9 November when the full report will be presented in Brussels).
Our feature article below is on our position paper on about self-generators (also sometimes called prosumers or self-consumers).
Coming soon is the CEER Benchmarking Report on Quality of Supply, and a paper on the DSO-TSO relationship.
For Back to School training opportunities, check out our training academy for regulators. Next Next training course (it's for regulators only*): Projects of Common Interest (18-19 October). Next event: CEER workshop on power losses (6 October).
Feature: Common perceptions of self-generation - what’s myth or reality?
What is self-generation? No definition is readily available. Often “prosumer”, “self-generators” and “self-consumers” are used interchangeably. Our CEER position paper on renewable energy self-generation considers “self-generation as the use of power generated on-site by an energy consumer in order to reduce, at least in part, the purchase of electricity from the grid.” Examples could be roof-top solar panels or onsite wind.
Opportunities and Challenges With increasing amounts of small-scale electricity generation equipment, whose output may be partially stored, self generation emerges as a potential game changer in the power sector.
Self-generation is expected to offer opportunities for more consumer empowerment, for network losses reduction, improved demand response, bill savings and CO2 abatement. It also poses challenges for network operation and for the long-term economic sustainability of system operation, should their costs and benefits not be fairly shared.
What does CEER propose for self-generation? - When consumers become self-generators, they have both rights and obligations (e.g. regarding metering and balancing, above a certain size).
- Tariffs should be cost-reflective. Network tariffs should be designed to reflect the costs and value of the network to all those connected.
- No cross subsidisation. CEER sees both self-generation and centralised, large scale production as valuable, compatible tools to reach renewable, competitiveness and security of supply targets. There should be no cross-subsidies between self-generation and centralised consumption. This includes network tariffs and the application of taxes and levies such as renewable subsidies so as to avoid perverse incentives.
- Self-generators should have access to flexibility mechanism.
- Adequate metering for prosumers to allow them participate in balancing markets with other sources of flexibility on a level playing field.
- Net metering should be avoided as it implies that system storage capacity is available for free. It reduces consumers’ time-value sensitivity to volatile energy prices and hence undermines efforts to enhance flexibility and to develop a wider demand-side response with consumers playing a more active market role.
CEER sees cost-reflective, transparent tariffs as key to prevent undesired cross-subsidies. CEER is working a range of consumer and distribution related activities including the development of best practice guidelines for distribution network tariffs.