Energy giants, trade associations and other stakeholders have launched a new initiative aiming to pressure policy makers to clean up the continent’s power market.
A total of 13 parties, including the likes of Shell, Eni, Total and Iberdrola, have launched ‘Make Power Clean’, a new joint initiative targeting Europe’s internal electricity market.
Its stated ambition is to further a more flexible and sustainable power market which aligns with Europe’s ambitions under the Paris Climate Agreement. The group’s first target is the perceived inequality in state aid support for polluting forms of generation, particularly through capacity mechanisms.
It has called on the European Council and European Parliament to endorse a proposed carbon intensity limit on generators hoping to compete in such capacity markets.
That limit – 550g CO2/kWh – would effectively lock out small-scale diesel generators which generate at carbon intensity levels of around 1010g CO2/kWh and bring capacity mechanisms in line with the European Investment Bank’s lending policy.
Any generators with carbon intensity levels ahead of that limit would be penalised, paying for excess emissions under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme.
The UK’s last capacity market auction awarded contracts to around 1.5GW of small-scale peaking plants, many of which are diesel-fuelled.
This cap, the group argues, also aligns with Europe’s 2030 decarbonisation targets and would help deliver a clean, more flexible and sustainable power market for Europe.
The proposal was sent to MEPs in a letter earlier this year, co-signed by officials from the 13 member companies.
“Our electricity bills should not support the operation of the most polluting power plants, given that cleaner supply options are available. This would clearly contradict EU climate and energy policy objectives and would go against the best interest of European consumers.
“We hope that these considerations will make a positive contribution to the ongoing parliamentary debate on the Clean Energy Package and we would be pleased to provide you with any additional information you may require,” the letter states.