SolarPower Europe, the Brussels-based association of the solar power sector in Europe, is calling on the European Commission  ‘to address the needs of solar power and storage technology in its upcoming Energy Union Package, ‘ which is supposed to be published on Nov. 30. The association’s Task Force on Solar & Storage has created 10 Policy Asks that it considers crucial to develop an appropriate framework for solar & storage to grow in Europe.

Riccardo Amoroso, Chief Innovation Officer of Enel Green Power and Vice President of SolarPower Europe, says, “The industry is being very successful in bringing down the cost of stationary battery storage and in improving its ability to provide efficient services and solutions to the market. Today we need European policy makers to put in place stable regulatory conditions including clear definitions and an appropriate market design to ensure a level playing field among competing solution providers. Such conditions will allow for further innovations and corresponding market growth.”

While the solar power market in Europe has been in a transition phase over the last few years, mostly declining while in many other regions of the world solar is strongly growing, the lobby group believes that the combination of solar and storage is the perfect fit to lift solar power to the next growth level.

Michael Schmela, Executive Advisor at SolarPower Europe, comments „If the regulatory environment for solar & storage is set effectively, solar power will strongly contribute to reaching the 27% target for renewable energy in 2030 in the current draft RE directive. Implementing our 10 policy priorities for solar & storage in the Energy Union Package would already go a big part of the way to achieving the realistic 35% target SolarPower Europe would like to see in the new RED II 2030 directive.”

Many benefits of solar & storage, but there is not even a definition

The benefits solar & storage bring to the energy system and European consumers are manifold, emphasizes Solar Power Europe. ‘Solar & battery storage allows consumers to implement new and smart business models that maximize the value of solar electricity. It unlocks solar’s flexibility potential at the consumer level – consumers could now offer services to grid operators. On a system level, solar generation can be used more cost-effectively together with storage.’

That’s why first of all ‘an EU-wide definition of “electricity storage” should be introduced in the revised Electricity Directive,’ and ‘Consumers need to be able to own and operate storage devices without discrimination,’ while ‘The stored electricity must be free of specific taxes or charges.’

Fair remuneration for active consumers needed

The list of policy asks also touches market design. For example, SolarPower Europe calls for ‘A real market for selling and procuring flexibility services must be developed, both at transmission and distribution levels, with distributed energy resources having full market access, being able to stack value across existing and new markets wherever appropriate.’

Regarding remuneration, the association wants to see that ‘active consumers should be remunerated fairly for providing their devices to deliver services that support the electric grid.’

Thomas Doering, Policy Analyst at SolarPower Europe and Coordinator of the Task Force Solar & Battery storage says “Solar & battery storage installations represent an important flexibility option for the entire energy system, enabling to inject or absorb electricity generated by a solar system when the system requires it. Together, solar & battery storage allows continuous short term supply of clean and cheap electricity, overcoming the variability of solar electricity generation.”

The list with the policy asks can be accessed here.