Electricity Forum discusses energy transition and electricity trade following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

5 June 2022

Over 200 stakeholders discussed how to take advantage of the momentum to accelerate regional electricity market integration and the transition to renewable energy following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the energy price surge at the Energy Community’s biggest annual conference on electricity, which took place in hybrid format on 1 and 2 June.

The Forum discussed how to step up the deployment of renewables to further decarbonisation and increase energy independence. The Forum noted that the current price surge exposed the weaknesses of the existing energy mix and market design in many Contracting Parties. Windfall profits of companies benefitting from the high prices should be channelled to support decarbonisation efforts. A robust legal framework and a long-term perspective via the adoption of the 2030 energy and climate targets are needed to provide the right investment signals.

The Forum agreed that regional market integration would best address the increased flexibility needs of the energy system with higher levels of renewable energy and called for more efficient use of existing cross-border infrastructure. The importance of short-term markets, namely day-ahead, intraday and balancing markets, for scaling up renewables was also underlined.

The Forum welcomed progress on the establishment of day-ahead markets in the region. Georgia plans to launch its day-ahead, intraday and balancing markets in the second half of 2022 and Serbia announced the go-live of the intraday market for 2023. The Forum also reviewed the steps needed for coupling and invited Contracting Parties to establish regional market coupling projects and submit them to the Single Day-ahead Coupling (SDAC).

The Forum welcomed the recent steps to further integrate Moldova and Ukraine into the European single market and invited the Secretariat to continue facilitating the discussions between the transmission system operators of Moldova and Ukraine and neighbouring EU Member States to promote efficient cross-border trade. The Forum strongly supported efforts to help cover the financial gaps in the energy sector resulting from war.

The Forum underlined that corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs) and guarantees of origin, which certify the renewable origin of electricity, can be an additional driver for renewables investment. They can trigger, together with appropriate signals to reliably estimate energy savings, a more active participation of citizens in the energy transition.

The need for strengthening the position of distribution system operators, as key enablers of customers’ active participation in the market, encouraging more efficient use of existing grid infrastructure and shifting investments to digitalisation, big data management and human capital, as well as research and development, was also underlined.