03.12.2015

Event Flexible Gas-to-Power was a great success

Flexible ‘Gas-to-Power’ solutions
Essential for Europe’s energy transition

On the day of the first State of the Energy Union report, EUGINE, EUTurbines and GasNaturally jointly organised a conference on “Flexible Gas-to-Power Solutions” to discuss how flexible gas-powered electricity generation can contribute to the transition towards a resilient Energy Union. The event gathered over 60 participants, including representatives of the EU Institutions and industry stakeholders. The panel discussion was moderated by Sonja van Renssen (Energy Post).

“Gas-to-Power” Solutions: flexibility providers

During the conference, the speakers expressed a wide consensus that providing flexibility to the system has become a key priority. For C. Härtel, Managing Director at GE Global Research Europe and GE Germany, gas power plants are the only solution in a position to properly cover the increasing flexibility needs, and, so, are the perfect “Complement to Renewable Energy Sources”. In addition, M. Brusseleers, Board member of EUTurbines, outlined a number of R&I priorities for this technology to maintain its leadership worldwide and called for continous R&I funding suport.
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C. Härtel, Managing Director of GE Global Research Europe
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M. Brusseleers, Board member EUTurbines

J. Balke, Member of Cabinet Commissioner Cañete

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M. Donnelly, Director at DG Energy, EC and
K. Hietanen, President of EUGINE
A new electricity market design that rewards flexibility

 Another point of general agreement among participants was the high expectations raised by the upcoming new electricity market design, which needs to address the challenges of the EU’s energy mix of the future – while maintaining a technology-neutral approach. Referring to the Commission’s public consultation, J. Balke, Member of the Cabinet of Commissioner Arias Cañete, outlined the areas for which broad support has been expressed by stakeholders: the value of flexibility, the importance of price signals that reflect scarcity and the need to react closer to real-time in a framework that applies to all equally.

In the same way, during the panel discussion, M. Donnelly, Director at DG Energy, European Commission, also
emphasised the need for flexibility to be defined and monetised, allowing technology neutral incentives to provide
flexibility services and capital to be properly remunerated. Several speakers, among them K. Hietanen,
President of EUGINE, also expressed concerns about capacity markets being introduced in some Member States,
since they may not reward flexibility.

Also important: a well-functioning European Emissions Trading System (ETS) and a competitive gas market

References to the current challenges of ETS were also made during the discussion, as it currently does not give the right signals to remove the most polluting energy sources from the system. Finally, the importance of a competitive gas market was also emphasised: while great progress has already been made, further considerations towards diversification as well as completion of the integrated EU gas market will provide the necessary predictability for investments.

Flexible “Gas-to-Power” solutions, live!

The Belgian utility EDF Luminus opened the doors of two of its power plants in Ghent. Organised within the framework of the European Energy Forum, the delegation was chaired by MEP Julie Girling. The visit proved to be a great opportunity for all stakeholders to learn more about gas power plants, their role and challenges.

Ghent-Ham‎ displayed a wide range of different technologies – aero-derivative gas turbines (2x 58MW), gas engines (2x 2,7MW) and a combined cycle gas turbine (42MW) – mainly focused at providing heat to the district heating network of the city. Ghent-Ringvaart showcased a Combined-Cycle Gas Turbine (357 MW) for electricity production.