A group of seven countries – comprising France, Poland, Italy, Hungary, Greece, Ireland and the UK – have issued a common position on the reform of Europe’s electricity market, saying “strategic reserves” for electricity should not receive favourable treatment from regulators. The statement is a clear reference to Germany, which closed eight lignite power plants in 2015 and transferred them into a “strategic reserve” that can be used as back-up in case of emergency. Berlin argues the “strategic reserve” is necessary to accompany the country’s transition to renewables and phase-out from nuclear power. The German scheme received clearance by the European Commission in February under the EU’s state aid rules. But Poland has complained of “double standards” because the scheme exempts German coal plants from environmental standards, including the upcoming CO2 emission limits that are currently being discussed as part of the ongoing reform of the EU’s electricity market.
Euractiv 7th Sept 2018 read more »