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Renewable energies are exposed to a new political climate. Subsidies are decreasing and operators of wind farms, photovoltaic systems, small hydropower or biomass plants will in future be forced to market the energy they generate directly on the electricity exchange.
The gradual introduction of renewable energies to the liberalised market using what is known as direct marketing is intended to promote their competitiveness and create an incentive to operate the plants in such a manner that their production is in line with demand. From 1 January 2020, direct marketing will also be mandatory in Switzerland.
This poses great challenges for producers and exposes them to new risks. Operators must build up their own expertise in the electricity market or entrust this task to direct marketers such as Alpiq. For a fixed marketing fee per MWh, we enable market access, prepare forecasts and pay for the balancing energy in the event of deviations from the forecasts.
Instead of the state remuneration rate, operators within the direct market system receive an average market yield calculated for the corresponding technology plus the difference between this market yield and the remuneration rate. We provide these services to customers in Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland and Eastern Europe. There we take them a big step closer to the market.
Alpiq has the ideal prerequisites in order to provide comprehensive customer support. In addition to specific know-how of the European electricity markets, direct marketing requires sound knowledge of the legal regulations, which vary from country to country. With the help of our centralised contract management, our local specialists support customers directly on site.
Trading in renewable energies also requires the most accurate generation forecasts possible, which are very difficult due to the weather-dependent resources. Therefore, detailed local wind data and weather forecasts in combination with real-time generation data are analysed around the clock to simulate the latest power generation expectations. Based on these, the intraday team buys and sells the required electricity volumes or transfers electricity produced in Switzerland to the corresponding market areas.
"The European market for the marketing of wind and solar energy is developing rapidly. That is why we need to completely revise the contracts with the individual plant operators every year. Project planners of renewable energy plants are also increasingly looking for opportunities to conclude long-term contracts. In my opinion, it is only a matter of time before solar and wind power plants will be built everywhere without subsidies."
"For direct marketing, data management must be highly flexible and scalable. The number of plants marketed by Alpiq varies greatly and the settlement requirements are constantly evolving. The latest example of this is the settlement of plants that we carry out based on negative market prices."
"The wind and solar forecasts can change massively right up until shortly before delivery. Once renewable energies have been marketed on the day-ahead market, any deviations from the forecasts must be purchased or sold on the intraday market at very short notice. I believe that the further expansion of the RES capacity in Europe will further increase the liquidity and the necessity of the intraday markets and represents an important component of the European energy transition."