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    Estonia favours solutions on boosting local power offers

    May 26, 2023 - BBC International Reports (Europe)


      Text of report in English by privately-owned Baltic News Service on 26 May

      Tallinn, 26 May: The government has endorsed Estonia's positions for the European Union energy ministers meeting next month that will focus on the reform of the EU's electricity market, which say Estonia is in favour of new solutions that will enable everyone to sell the energy produced by them more conveniently and make free capacities to link up to the grid known to the market.

      According to Estonia's Climate Minister Kristen Michal, plans are for the EU-wide reform to help the electricity market to increasingly take on the face of renewable energy.

      "The aim is to reduce the dependence of consumers' energy bills on fluctuations in fossil fuel prices and to accelerate the entry of renewable energy into the market. Renewable energy and a more flexible market will bring cheaper prices, as is already seen in Estonia today, and make industries cleaner and more competitive," the minister said.

      "A new and interesting idea proposed with the reform is the possibility to share the electricity you produce directly between people, for example by selling electricity produced by your solar panel to a neighbour. As digital platforms emerge, a solution like this will give everyone the opportunity to better manage their electricity revenues and costs," said Michal.

      "Another interesting idea is the possibility of allowing several meters and several electricity sellers at one point of consumption. In this way, if the consumer wishes, they could buy, for example, electric heating with a fixed package from one seller and cover other consumption with a variable price package from another seller," the minister added.

      The proposal put forward by the European Commission aims to increase the role of longer-term markets alongside short-term markets and facilitate investment in clean technologies. The aim is to promote consumption management and storage and to widen the choices in buying and selling energy.

      The focus is also on promoting long-term contracts, which enables greater certainty concerning future prices and allows electricity sellers to offer consumers better fixed-price contracts. The aim is also to increase the capacity of market oversight agencies to monitor the transparency of energy markets and compliance with valid rules.

      "In the big picture, Estonia can be satisfied with the European Commission's proposals, but the details still need to be clarified in negotiations with member states," Michal said.

      "The rapid progress of renewable energy has highlighted the need for electricity storage and consumption management to match supply and demand at different times in the market. With the transition from fossil fuels to renewables, the market is also expected to have more and more flexibility to react on a rolling basis, so that in the future we will no longer see situations on the exchange where the price reaches the maximum market price," the minister said.

      Of the proposals, Estonia also supports the disclosure of free connection capacity by grid companies, so that the parties potentially interested in linking up to the grid can get to know about its possible cost before submitting a connection request, which would speed up the entire process.

      In addition, Estonia supports the voluntary procurement of electricity peak demand reduction by system operators in situations where this is necessary to ensure the security of supply. It also agrees with the proposal to set non-binding targets for consumption management and storage in the National Climate and Energy Plan.

      The reform of the organisation of the electricity market will be discussed at the council of energy ministers in Luxembourg on June 19.

      Source: Baltic News Service, Tallinn, in English 0723 gmt 26 May 23


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