Romanian wind lobby calls for transparent analysis of power price spikes

22 August 2017 16:54 Source:ICIS

Romanian authorities currently analysing recent spikes on the wholesale electricity spot market should be transparent with their upcoming findings and consult on potential regulatory changes, the Romanian Wind Energy Association (RWEA) said in a statement on Tuesday.

Romania’s day-ahead market is coupled with the Hungarian, Slovak and Czech markets.

Prices so far this summer have been delivering above expectations on Romanian exchange OPCOM and Hungarian exchange HUPX, boosted by a combination of high weather-driven demand, low hydropower availability in the Balkans, planned and unplanned power plant outages across the region, as well as low wind availability in Romania (click here and here to read stories).

For example, the price for delivery on 4 August reached a summer high of €97.72/MWh on both OPCOM and HUPX, although prices have since eased.

The Romanian Competition Council is currently analysing the causes of the spikes, but it is unclear when the results will be published.

Separately, energy regulator ANRE and the Competition Council have set up an expert working group for exchange of information and data concerning the behaviour of market participants, according to a recent statement by ANRE.

RWEA said while it recognised that such an investigation should happen, it said the authorities should consider the market structure as a whole, rather than separate drivers of prices.

“We also call for the results of the analysis to be transparent and followed by a real consultation process,” the lobby group said.

The statement indicates concern on the part of RWEA that weaker wind power output will be cited as a driver of the high prices disproportionately in comparison to the other drivers that also contributed.

The group highlighted days that it said produced high prices despite wind output being relatively strong, suggesting other drivers were underpinning the spikes.

Renewable energy producers are exposed to spot and balancing market volatility due to a lack of liquidity on the intra-day market as well as a lack of flexible supply contracts.

“Romania is therefore the EU country with the highest balancing costs for wind energy production,” the statement said. It also said Romania has the largest exposure to standardised products and contracts that are inadequate in light of its production mix.

Renewable energy has started to play a bigger role in the country’s energy mix, covering more than 10% of Romania’s consumption in 2016. irina.peltegova@icis.com

By Irina Peltegova