SolarPower Europe has today published our “Regulatory asks on solar and digitalisation” to ensure that policy-makers support the transition to a fully digitalisation solar offering. Thanks to the whole team for this pioneering document.
These are the 10 policy asks
1. Remove barriers to the peer-to-peer trading of electricity, such as (but not exclusively) supply license requirements, concluding contracts between peers, network charging and existing and future systems for the delivery and billing of electricity.
2. Ensure that the implementation of regulation does not preclude new technologies and business models for the trading of and accounting for electricity, such as Blockchain and cryptocurrencies that create incentives for PV and enable prosumers to participate in energy markets.
3. Encourage regulation that allows aggregators to compete with conventional generators in all electricity markets and offer services in these markets via new or different digital technologies, such as Virtual Power Plants. Allow aggregators to combine resources from all voltage levels and use appropriate measuring equipment for the size of the installation.
4. Use digitalisation to develop flexibility markets with more automated tools and standardised products, as well as standardised requirements for the provision of system services both behind the meter and at distribution and transmission level. Reform intraday and spot-markets to enable large-scale solar and solar-plus-storage plants to take on balancing responsibilities.
5. Accelerate the deployment of smart grid technology, so that more solar can be integrated into the system and both utility-scale and small-scale solar can provide services to the grid. In conjunction, reform incentives for network operators, to encourage them to implement smart grid technology as an alternative to strengthening cables and transformers. Also provide more funding to smart grid and smart market integration projects such as within the Connecting Europe Facility funding instrument.
6. Reward the speed and accuracy that distributed energy resources such as solar and storage can provide in terms of grid support services.
7. Accelerate the deployment of smart metering functionality, real-time measurement of consumption and grid feed-in, as smart metering is a catalyst for new solar business models. Ensure that consumers have access to their smart meter data and guarantee that the roll-out of smart meters will not discriminate against new and existing innovative solutions and solar prosumers. Avoid imposing extra costs on smart meter customers, or mandating a single gateway for all energy data in and out of a building. Ensure that self-consumed electricity is not subject to taxes, fees or charges
8. Ensure that proposals within the market design package for metering and consumption data to be made available between DSOs, TSOs, customers, suppliers, aggregators and energy service companies are maintained. Guarantee that state of the art and up-to-date data protection and cybersecurity standards are put in place.
9. Maintain provisions in the proposed revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive on a ‘smartness indicator’ for homes and ensure that on-site electricity generation is given a bonus within the methodology for setting cost-optimal minimum energy performance requirements for new and renovated buildings. Ensure that this methodology takes a holistic view of sector coupling, so that excess PV electricity can be used and stored e.g. as heat via heat pumps, or hot water storage.
10. Ensure that EU-level work on standards and interoperability, within the Digital Single Market includes solar PV systems, smart buildings and smart grids. Encourage the Commission to come forward with its ‘baseline’ standardised data format as soon as possible, which individual device or service manufacturers will then add additional features to.
Find more information on the SolarPower Europe website.
SolarPower Europe’s “Regulatory asks on solar and digitalisation” were drawn up by the Digitalisation and Solar Task Force, a group of members within the association working together to ensure that the solar PV sector in Europe makes the most of the opportunities arising from the digitalisation of the energy system.
It follows the Solar industry’s seven commitments on digitalisation. An in-depth report on the market opportunities for digitalised solar will follow later this year.
Detlef Beister (guest author)
Detlef Beister graduated in communications engineering and has 30 years of experience in the photovoltaic, IT, and automation industries. Since 2009 he deals with new market opportunities and business models for photovoltaic and energy management applications in the field of smart grids, smart facilities, and e-mobility charging infrastructure at SMA Solar Technology.