EU regulator clears UK’s billion-pound power back-up scheme

(EurActiv, 25 Oct 2019) The European Commission said on Thursday (24 October) it had approved the British capacity market scheme which is designed to safeguard the security of Britain’s electricity supply.

The scheme allows British power companies to receive a total of about £1 billion (€1.16bn) to help cover costs of keeping extra generation available at short notice in the case of sudden supply disruptions.

These payments were delayed after a European court ordered the Commission to secure more details on certain elements of the scheme, such as information on energy consumers willing to reduce their consumption when needed.

The Commission said on Thursday it found no evidence that capacity providers or the consumers ready to reduce consumption were at a disadvantage and found the scheme was in line with European Union state aid rules.

“Notably, the Commission did not find any evidence that the scheme would put demand response operators or any other capacity providers at a disadvantage with respect to their participation in the scheme,” it said in a statement.

Back-payments expected in January

Britain’s government said it would be able to reinstate the mechanism to make payments to capacity providers, including the almost £1 billion deferred during the suspension.

“The vast majority of the back-payments will reach capacity providers in January 2020,” the government said in a statement.

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EurActiv, 25 Oct 2019: EU regulator clears UK’s billion-pound power back-up scheme