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Policy Brief / Electricity

Jean Michel Glachant

The Long March towards an EU Power Target Model (1.0)… and the Journey towards a 2030 Target Model (2.0)

Author(s): GLACHANT Jean-Michel

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ABSTRACT

  • The European Union took more than 20 years to define a common market design for its internal electricity market: a European Power Target Model. And, a further 10 years to fully implement it. In the meantime, the reference generation set of that model has shifted from the Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) burning gas to RES units transforming intermittent natural resources. Could the existing EU target model continue to work well for the short-term operation and long-term investment? If not, can the existing EU institutions readily produce a “RES resilient” new power target model?
  • While the European Union has succeeded in developing a “continent scale” power target model, which neither the USA nor Canada achieved, it has been a lengthy process. It has taken decades (since the first “internal market” directive in 1996) to produce this model which largely relies on the former concept of EU-wide “cross-border CCGT competition” (Glachant & Lévêque, 2009).
  • The corresponding market pricing is zonal and mainly Day-Ahead; the power system operation is also zonal, both intra-day or “real-time”. Will this Target Model resist the integration of massive renewables Could the EU easily develop a new Target Model to integrate massive renewables? Or, would it prefer to keep the existing one and upgrade it with a few “add-ons”?
  • It is difficult to foresee if the EU could succeed in undertaking all of the challenging but necessary “target model” upgrades to enter a 2030 forward looking strategy.