What are NECPs?
In 2019, the EU mandated its Member States to publish and implement 10 year National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs).
Running from 2021 to 2030, NECPs are meant to set out the Member State's targets, policies, and measures that will enable the country to reach the 2030 EU renewable targets.
In 2023, EU Member States were obliged to update their NECPs. As of October 2023, 15 of 27 member states have updated their plans (Malta makes 16, but there is no solar-specific target for Malta).
In 2019, the EU was only aiming for 32% renewables in its energy mix by 2030. As of 2023, that target has been increased to 42.5%, with a further indicative 2.5% on the table.
Since 2019, the EU solar market has also seen remarkable solar growth. The speed and scale of the solar wave has exceeded all previous expectations. In 2022, the EU installed more than 40 GW of solar, seeing a 47% year-on-year increase from the 28 GW installed in 2021.
Why are NECPs important for solar?
The NECPs are crucial for solar. They form the basis for the EU-27’s energy policy and strengthen the business environment for solar investments in Europe – predictability, efficiency, and transparency.
The energy transition touches every part of our lives. Systems and society must get ready. That means setting clear targets that reflect the true potential of solar.
How have NECPs changed?
The 15 available updated NECPs for 2023 add a new 100 GW of EU solar ambition, bringing the total target, for now, to 434 GW of solar by 2030.
By weighted average, the 2023 targets increased by 66% compared to 2019. Lithuania stands out by multiplying ambition by more than 5 its capacity. Finland, Portugal, Slovenia, and Sweden more than doubled their previous targets, with Spain increasing its target by 95%.
Increased ambition is welcome, but at the current rate of ambition, if extrapolated to all Member States, this will result in 555 GW total ambition by 2030. This falls short of the EU Solar Strategy target of 750 GW.
Considering the most recent targets available, 4 EU countries have already reached their set solar target for 2030; 19 countries will most likely reach their target within the next 5 years; the final 4 will likely reach their goals between 2027 and 2030.
We can see the level of ambition that Member States can take by looking at per capita targets. Lithuania, one of the smaller and most northern EU countries, has used its 2023 NECP to set the highest level of solar ambition per person across the EU.
The NECP database below sets out the true scope for solar ambition in the EU, country by country:
- Discover how much solar your country has already installed
- Compare each country's solar target with current market projections
- Understand the key remaining challenges
- Workers availability The main bottleneck in the country is the availability of a skilled workforce. For the connection of inverters and modules, in particular, electricians are needed. A lack of training and certification of workers is a key issue.
- Grid congestion The Austrian grid needs upgrading in order to keep solar development at a sustained pace. Works on the transition and distribution grid are take a long time. Presently, plans for grid-development are under preparation. This poses a challenge in Austria's solar deployment.
- Administrative procedures Permitting times are a bottleneck in the timely deployment of solar PV. Additionally, administrative requirements are inconsistent.
- Administrative procedures The fragmentation of responsibilities among the regions creates uncertainty and hurdles for larger solar PV projects in particular. Auctions are regionally organised and are historically known to lack vital information, discouraging investors.
- Grid integration and flexibility Despite the high share of prosumers in the country, the NECP does not include distribution grid modernisation. The fragmentation of governments creates additional complexity, with Wallonia and Flanders focusing on different aspects in their flexibility frameworks. Grids in the more rural parts of Wallonia remain vastly underequipped to handle ground-mounted PV projects, while the Flemish grid needs to integrate offshore renewables as well as a large amount of rooftop PV.
- Poor financial landscape Electricity prices are kept artificially low, lowering the attractivity of solar PV. Additionally, the current government favours fossil fuels over solar and renewables.
- PV target Bulgaria’s solar target remains low as PV will only account for 2.6% of electricity in 2040. Yet Bulgaria benefits from high irradiation rates, notably in the south of the country, and has an important solar potential, which is not reflected in the current target.
- Administrative procedures The plan mentions measures to simplify administrative procedures, but these measures are significantly lacking ambition.
- Support schemes The plan mentions the three-year RES planning and the corresponding tenders for market premia, with a gradual evolution into a market-based scheme. The overall budget for support to RES will be €1 bn from 2021 to 2030. Most of this fund, however, will be target to thermal renewable and hydro, while large-scale wind and solar will be supported through market-based mechanisms. A clear agenda with the volume of auctions would however have been welcome. The plan could also have mentioned the need for additional regulation of the PPA market. Currently, in the Croatian market, PPAs between renewable producers and buyers are handled through financial PPAs. There is not much appetite among energy suppliers to facilitate sleeved PPAs, and due to the mismatch between production and consumption, physical PPAs are challenging and not practiced.
- Prosumers and citizens The plan foresees an information program targeted at prosumers, communities, aggregators, system operators and installers. It also mentions the development of support schemes adapted to RES communities and citizen energy. As a very positive feature, the plan mentions a monitoring of the number of, and energy generated by energy communities. The plan could have also mentioned the expected volume of prosumers among rooftop PV installations, and the volume of financial aid for prosumers.
- Flexibility and storage The plan foresees a public call for the implementation of demand response projects between 2023 and 2030, as well as new regulatory frameworks for aggregators and ancillary services. Regarding storage, the plan mentions the deployment of a whole range of technologies including battery, hydrogen, pumped storage, heat, EV, compressed gas, and other innovative storage. The amount is estimated by €19.8mio and €13.3mio respectively at transmission and distribution level, mostly coming from the EU modernization fund. The plan could have mentioned, on the top of EU funding, the number of national expenditures and the potential upgrade of national rules (e.g., grid tariffs…) for storage. Also, the plan foresees support scheme for energy storage only via EU-funds. There is a lack of national measures (i.e., national subsidy scheme) for both utility and residential scale storage. The plan is also lacking measures to address the non-existence of grid connection rules for energy storage.
- Grids The interconnection level of the country is already exceeding – by far – both peak load and installed capacity. The plan does not provide any capacity figures nor timeline for the reinforcement of interconnections with other Member States. On internal transmission capacities, while the plan clearly identifies the importance of RES-integration, it only mentions one power line, the 400 kV line Split-Rijeka.
- Spatial planning and permitting The plan foresees development of sensitivity maps for RES projects, i.e., defining the so-called “Go-to” areas. RESC Croatia together with the experts identified 7.424 locations with a total area 101.825 ha for the solar PV. The plan envisioned the inclusion of Agri PV within the Spatial Planning Act that was officially incorporated through the Amendments to the Spatial Planning Act on June 29, 2023. The plan fails to establish and define all the conditions and requirements necessary for establishing a single contact point that would be the sole point of contact with the investors. Also, the plan does not provide development of the National Maritime Spatial Plan, which is the first step in establishing renewable go- to areas for offshore renewables. RES Croatia in the study Action Plan for the Uptake of Offshore Renewable Energy Sources in Croatia, funded by the EBRD identified more than 29,000 km2 of available area for offshore renewables.
- Support schemes In general, the chapter on support schemes is limited to a short description of measures, with no information of the investment timeline or volume. The plan also fails to provide details of support scheme has been developed for ground-mounted PV.
- Prosumers and citizens Cyprus has developed a plan for self-consumption and net metering from 2013 to 2024 for residential buildings and from 2018 to 2030 for commercial/industrial buildings. Regarding energy communities, a regulatory framework is being developed. However, the plan does not provide details on the continuation or even the level of support of the plan for self-consumption and net metering. The plan neither provides objectives in terms of prosumers or energy communities.
- Flexibility and storage Currently, the electricity market in Cyprus does not support flexibility, aggregation, or demand response. These services will be allowed by 2024. The plan also includes a target of 10 MW / 20 MWh flexibility in the form of storage by DSOs. The plan also provides a target of 1000 kVA for each demand-response agent and 50MW of demand-response capacity by 2030.
- Grids Cyprus mentions EuroAsia interconnector (between Greece, Cyprus, and Israel) to fulfil its obligations of 15% electricity interconnection by 2030. The plan also mentions two measures in the transmission grid for the integration of RES: smart compensation system on transmission substations, and upgrading of transmission lines with reducting, to increase transmission capacity. However, the plan could have detailed the new transmission capacity (or equivalent) resulting from the network upgrades, and the provisional agenda. The plan does not provide an analysis nor an investment plan for distribution grids upgrade.
- PV target The NECP outlines in detail, on a year-by-year basis, projected solar developments in the Czech Republic, giving a good visibility to investors. However, considering the country's solar potential, the PV target appears underwhelming. Against this background, the government acknowledges that the target will be surpassed by a large extent.
- Public acceptance for large-scale solar In the country there is a perceived general lack of support for large-scale solar, due to the fact that the past feed-in tariff regime granted very generous subsidies to large-scale PV projects. Since new utility-scale projects have not been built in the last 10 years, new projects might face public acceptance concerns.
- Workers’ availability The sudden increase of demand for solar in the Czech Republic has led to a shortage of skilled workers. While this already forms a bottleneck for installers, recently, grid connection became a problem as well. DSOs face labour shortages and grid connections can take multiple months.
- Support schemes The plan provides a comprehensive overview of legislative acts to support renewables, especially wind power, between now and 2030. For solar and heat pumps, it mentions phase out of PSO tariff on electricity bill. Technology-neutral tenders will be phased out to gradually move to market-based support mechanisms. The deployment of solar and wind is expected to be market-based only. However, a timeline of existing support schemes and their planned evolution would have been welcome.
- Prosumers and citizens Renewable energy communities benefit from simplified procedures by requiring the Danish Utility Regulator to identify and monitor the removal of unjustified barriers and to oblige grid companies to cooperate with communities. Denmark has also enabled energy sharing and self-consumption through exemption of grid tariffs and electricity taxes. However, the plan could have provided more details on the measures to accelerate the uptake of prosumers, with clear figures on the expected uptake of self-consumption and community schemes. It is still very challenging to set up an energy community or an energy sharing scheme in Denmark.
- Flexibility and storage The Danish Energy Agency’s reporting on market model 3.0 has set out a number of recommendations for continuing to improve the framework for flexibility and active customers in Denmark, including the framework for aggregators. While the plan identifies flexibility as a major challenge, the plan provides no clear milestone or measures for the implementation of market-based flexibility measures, including the participation of prosumers.
- Grids Denmark’s current level of interconnectivity is 44.2%, significantly higher than the 2030 EU target of 15%. Through the Climate Agreement on Green Electricity and Heat of 2022, Denmark is planning to support the upgrade of both transmission and distribution networks. The plan also mentions the obligation for DSOs to publish network development plans and promote a flexible market. Denmark mentions the assessment of new interconnectors but does not provide any figures on capacities involved. This would be particularly important esp. given the planned RES-E deployment.
- Support schemes The plan provides a clear timeline for the volume of auctions between 2019 and 2025. The plan also foresees a phase-out of direct support for renewable energy by 2021, to be replaced by lower bids systems, with 500 GWh planned by 2024 and 2025. However, no further information is available since ANNEX IV is missing.
- Prosumers and citizens No further information is available since ANNEX IV is missing.
- Flexibility and storage No further information is available since ANNEX IV is missing.
- Grids Estonia already exceeds the 2030 EU interconnection target, reaching 63% today. The next major step for Estonia will be the synchronization of the Baltic States’ electricity system in the synchronous area under EU law around 2025. It also mentions the completion of the EE-FI interconnection by 2030. The plan provides a comprehensive overview and timeline of planned interconnectors. However, the plan could have provided a more detailed investment plan on domestic transmission networks reinforcement, esp. in the view of integrating high shares of renewable energy.
- Support schemes The plan describes the existing premium system for renewables but provides no visibility on future auctions (if any). The energy aid scheme, which provides investment subsidies, could have been more detailed regarding the expected contribution to different technologies.
- Prosumers and citizens Renewable energy communities are recognized and enabled in Finland. The plan describes the proposals to facilitate demand-side response but could provide a clear action plan and legislative measures on the top of it. No information is provided on the volume, the type of support or the roll-out of decentralized renewables.
- Flexibility and storage Nearly 100% end-consumers in Finland already have smart meters, and Finland includes the plan to roll-out second-generation smart meters with a 15-minutes resolution by 2028. Dynamic pricing is already an option offered in all electricity contracts. On top of it, demand-side response is well-developed with already 1GW of DSR in 2022. The plan provides a comprehensive description of energy storage facilities, while the new investment should be mostly market-based. An indicative target on storage would however have been welcome.
- Grids The plan provides a comprehensive overview of the existing and planned interconnection capacities, with a 400 kV – 800 MW between Northern Finland and Northern Sweden by 2025, bringing the transmission capacity to 27% peak load in 2025. It terms of internal transmission grid, Finland provides clear extensions by 3,200km of 400 kV lines and 2,000km of 110kV lines. Although the increase of capacity is clearly detailed, a map of different interconnectors would have been welcome. While the plan mentions market-based mechanisms for investment at DSO level, it could have been more detailed regarding the investment plans at distribution level.
- Administrative procedures Solar project developers in France are facing tight regulation, challenging grid connection processes and long administrative procedures, which need to be clarified and simplified. Administrative deadlines should also be shortened.
- Access to land Several bureaucratic hurdles are due to the difficulty in accessing land for ground-mounted PV projects, in particular agricultural land. A plan needs to be developed incorporating the use of land for solar projects, and the real impact on soils and biodiversity. However, innovative PV solutions resulting in minimal issues in land availability, such as agri-PV and floating solar, should be encouraged.
- Prosumers The self-consumption segment is still far behind the country's potential. The support mechanisms for self-consumption projects need to be improved to fully recognise its value.
- Workforce and supply chain shortages A shortage of electricians and a lack of availability of inverters is limiting market growth, and is raising the costs of smaller installations. While the backlog in inverter supply is expected to be resolved in the mid-term, it is essential that the bottleneck of installers is resolved as soon as possible through accessible trainings and campaigns.
- Revenue cap The proposed revenue cap is creating market uncertainty, and might have a significant impact on Europe's largest PV market.
- Grid development Currently, grid capacity is the main bottleneck for larger PV projects. Additionally, the responsible authorities have been criticised for the non-transparent decision-making process. This results in the exclusion of some projects.
- Administrative procedures Despite mandatory deadlines, the organisations responsible for the issuance of environmental permits often fail to deliver them in time. This causes unpredictability and delays which discourages international investors.
- Prosumers Although data suggests that this segment is also gaining traction, the lack of support measures impede small-scale PV deployment.
- Support schemes The plan mentions the use of Renewable Energy Support Scheme (METÁR) to allocate capacity through technology-neutral tenders. Until 2026, the maximum annual new grant amount is HUF 45 bn. On solar power, the plan indicates, as part of the Recovery and Resilience Plan, the investment “Supporting of residential solar panel systems and equating heating systems in combination with solar panel systems”. By 2026, the aid could result in around 140-175 MW installed solar capacity. The mobilization of RRF to support residential solar systems will be 185,9 bn HUF. However, the plan does not provide an overview of the support schemes and investment pipeline past 2026.
- Prosumers and citizens The plan mentions that an initial legislative framework for aggregators and energy communities was established in 2021, with the plan to prepare the necessary legislative amendments by 2024 to ensure their proper functioning. While the plan indicates that the target of 200 000 households with an average of 4 kW rooftop solar panels will be significantly exceeded by 2030, it does not provide an updated trajectory for prosumers. While the plan recognizes the importance of energy communities, it fails to identify the expected volume of energy communities by 2030.
- Flexibility and storage The Government intends to build energy storage facilities in Hungary with a total capacity of around 500-600 MW by 2026, which could increase to 1 GW by 2030. While demand-response is identified as an upcoming challenge, the plan fails to provide any details on volume, support and roll-out of technology such as smart-meters and connected appliances. On storage, the plan mentions that the energy storage market is practically non-existent today (currently around 20-25 MW installed battery capacity) but does not provide clear milestone and pipeline for future capacities.
- Grids The transmission capacity of cross-border high voltage lines already reaches 50%, far above the 15% EU target by 2030. Additionally, Hungary will increase its cross-border capacity to 60% by 2030, with the planning of the Serbian-Hungarian cross-border capacity. However, in general, the plan does not provide any detail on the interconnections or reinforcements of internal transmission capacities, neither in terms of capacity nor in terms of timeline of investment. The reinforcement of the distribution grid is also absent from the NECP.
- Administrative procedures The plan mentions that measures are being established but it does not discuss these measures in detail. Further measures should be put in place to ease the administrative burden, which can create heavy barriers to investments in renewable projects. Furthermore, the need for standardised local administrative requirements and fees, which currently differ widely depending on local authorities, should be addressed.
- Lack of resources and workforce As large EU countries with more advanced solar markets advance their solar markets, Ireland might face competition to grow its workforce and ensure access to solar components.
- Support schemes The plan mentions a comprehensive description of competitive bidding mechanisms under Decree No 199/2021. It also mentions the promotion of PPAs, with the development of a dedicated platform and guarantee schemes, and an indicative target of an additional 16GW to be mainly covered by PPAs. While legislative Decree No 199/2021 provides for auctions for the fixed-term contract of new renewables, no information is available in the NECP regarding the volume and implementation details of these support schemes.
- Prosumers and citizens Decree-Law No 162/19 (Article 42a) provides incentives for self-consumption and energy sharing. The plan clearly sets an objective of 5 additional GW by 2027 for self-consumption and energy communities. The plan also foresees specifically targeted at energy communities, including access to information, guidelines, and support measures. An extensive set of measures under Decree No 199/2021 is presented, including building standards. The plan also provides for measures related to PV in the agricultural sector. As of today, the Ministerial Decree for Energy Communities has not been published. However, without the implementation of the new incentive mechanisms, which are also aimed at plants with a capacity of up to 1 MW, and located in larger perimeters, it will not be possible to reach the target set by the NECP.
- Flexibility and storage The plans provide a tool for the development of self-consumption and storage under the investment M2C2 1.1 of the NRRP, which provides for specific resources (EUR 2,2 million) for the financing of renewable energy plants coupled with storage systems. An indicative amount of expected battery storage could have been useful.
- Grids One of the biggest challenges of Italy in terms of internal transmission grid development will be the transport of renewable electricity from the South and the islands to the Northern consumption points. In this context, the plan provides clear network planning of transmission capacities until 2030. The plan also mentions the need to reinforce the distribution grid, with however no concrete planning, allegedly due to the decentralized nature of renewable – esp. PV- generation. The target of 15% interconnection by 2030 is likely to be missed. One of the reasons would be the increase of total inland generation capacity, mostly driven by the uptake of renewables.
- PV target The Latvian NECP has set an ambitious target for the development of renewables. Yet, there is no plan or target or auctions for solar installations. This does not give investors enough visibility for their investments.
- Prosumers A specific measure should be introduced to encourage prosumers, based on support schemes, tax exemptions, and the development of energy sharing.
- Administrative procedures The plan does not assess possible difficulties that could be encountered by PV project developers. It also does not propose remedy measures, or measures to implement the Clean Energy Package.
- Support schemes The plan provides information on a tender for renewables in marine areas of the Baltics Sea, with a first expected delivery of electricity by 2028. The plan also details the support schemes for commercial and industrial sector, as well as for the public sector, with the planned intervention of EU funding for total budgets of resp. €105mio and €107mio. However, the plan does not provide any information on the agenda, volume and expected investment pipeline for ground-mounted solar PV.
- Prosumers and citizens The plan provides a clear target of 30% prosumers (compared with the total number of consumers) by 2030. It also provides a support scheme for prosumers with a premium of €234/kW up to 10kW, and a total budget from EU funds of €160 million between 2023 and 2029. Additionally, support is envisaged for investments by legal persons, farmers, and renewable energy communities in onshore solar and wind power plants. In this field, the plan proposes an interesting scheme to support RES communities and fight energy poverty at city level, with planned operating grants of €78.5mio. Additionally, the plan could have provided clear milestones, volume and expected investment pipeline to support RES deployment by farmers or energy communities.
- Flexibility and storage The plan provides clear objectives of storage deployment at household level, with the intervention of the EU structural funds for a volume of €3.3bn and 20 MWh between 2023 and 2029. Lithuania also envisions a capacity mechanism to support demand response and storage. However, the plan does not provide any details on the support of demand-response, or the total expected battery capacity (including large scale and hybrid power plants).
- Grids The interconnection level of Lithuania is already meeting the EU target of 15% by 2030, with a share of above 60% today. The plan also mentions the construction of 11 internal transmission lines, with several of them coming into operation by 2025. However, the plan does not provide any details on the future investment in interconnection to meet the challenge of integrating their energy system to the European electricity market and to start synchronous operation with the European continental electricity grid by 2025.
- Support schemes The plan describes 15-years support schemes for renewables and includes enlargement of support schemes for small-scale PV installations. The measures targeting buildings are well detailed, with the introduction of State support for existing buildings, including industrial and agricultural buildings. For large-scale power plants, a tender is introduced. As an interesting additional feature, the plan mentions a call for tender for agri-PV systems. However, a clear agenda for the upcoming call for tenders up to 2030 could have added visibility to the investment pipeline.
- Prosumers and citizens The plan mentions the existing call for tender for self-consumption, which will be maintained in 2023. Clear milestones and capacity allocation have been identified. On energy communities, the plan envisions to accompany these news market players in their RES projects. It also increases the fiscal threshold for selling excess electricity. It also mentions the potential inclusion of storage in large PV tenders. The plan could have mentioned the continuation of the call for tender for self-consumption and the planned allocated capacities post-2023.
- Flexibility and storage Luxembourg envisions an increase of the bonus for PV self-consumption and makes battery storage eligible. It also envisions to increase the share of prosumers participating in the market, with no clear number, however. The plan would have benefited from a clear timeline that describes the evolution of storage capacities, both a centralized and decentralized level. Regarding demand-response, only the Energy Data platform is mentioned.
- Grids The level of interconnection with Germany will be increased from 230% to 400% in 2030 (as a share of maximal annual load). Additionally, the national transmission network will be reinforced esp. in the North of the Country, by replacing 65kV lines with 110 kV lines. However, the measure 912 “Network Development Plans” lacks details. A focus could have been made on the necessary upgrade of the distribution network, which could have enabled more solar PV installations to be connected.
- Support schemes The promotion of solar PV is ensured via a feed-in-tariff scheme. The plan provides relatively detailed description on the design of the support schemes. For PV systems above 40kWp, a competitive bidding system is in place. While the plan provides a good overview of existing schemes, it would have been welcome to better understand the project pipelines and dedicated budgets for future schemes until 2030.
- Prosumers and citizens As described above, the plan provides an overview of the support schemes for small-scale PV. However, the plan could have detailed the expected penetration of self-consumption, and the role that prosumers would play in the future energy system.
- Flexibility and storage The plan mentions the expansion of battery storage via the investment in two utility-scale battery storage systems by 2026 to facilitate RES-integration. At distributed level, households applying for a grant for a new PV installation are also eligible to benefit from financial support towards a behind-the-meter battery storage system. The plan mentions the current behind-the-meter battery penetration with 489 installations and 3.55 MWh capacity by 2022 but fails to provide any figure regarding the future installations by 2030, both at centralised and decentralised level. Regarding demand-response, the plan mentions that the electricity market structure doesn’t incentivize demand-response, therefore the assessment of demand-response and smart solutions are still at an early stage.
- Grids The plan mentions the construction of the second sub-sea interconnector with Italy by 2026, to comply with the 15% interconnection target by 2030. With regards to the investment in national transmission system, there is no transmission system in Malta and the country only operates at distribution level. As a positive point compared with most NECPs, the plan provides a relative detail of the investment at distribution level including voltage regulators, transformers, substations, and low voltage feeders. The plan indicates an investment of €106 million between 2018 and 2022 in the network but does not provide any provisional amount between 2023 and 2030.
- Support schemes The scheme to support sustainable energy production and Climate Transition (SDE + +) is mentioned, which will participate in the roll-out of at least 35 TWh of renewable energy by 2030. However, there is no details on the volume of tenders or support schemes for solar PV, nor any further information on the evolution of support schemes.
- Prosumers and citizens The Netherlands support prosumers through tax exemptions and net-metering schemes. It also includes a specific support scheme for energy communities. As in the previous version, the plan doesn’t provide any details on the expected size of the prosumers markets and no specific targets on renewable energy communities and citizens-led initiatives.
- Flexibility and storage The plan mentions the suppression of barriers to storage, and the government aims to promote storage by investing in battery innovations and making batteries mandatory in large-scale solar parks. Flexibility in the form of demand response, storage or adjustable capacity will be intertwined in the electricity market and traded through the different markets, therefore the plan doesn’t provide any target or specific support schemes for flexibility. Residential storage is currently double taxed and not incentivised due to the net metering scheme.
- Grids At transmission level, the plan provides clear interconnections capacities forecast up to 2030. While grids have been rightfully identified as the major bottleneck for solar PV deployment, there is no clear vision on grid capacity increase at distribution level.
- Grid availability One major challenge is the lack of grid connection points for new projects. This exacerbates the delay on project completion, which is already being compounded by supply chain disruptions and price hikes.
- PV target Important to set ambitious targets. After years under strong coal dependency, the public perception towards solar is shifting; momentum is crucial to capture the true potential of solar PV. This is not reflected in the current NECP target, which has already been surpassed.
- Price cap The recent introduction of an energy price cap creates uncertainty for the future of solar PV deployment; its impact is still being assessed.
- Support schemes The plan describes past auction mechanism for allocating capacity for renewables. However, the plan fails to provide a detailed volume and design of upcoming auctions.
- Prosumers and citizens The plan provides a detailed analysis of the stay of play of self-consumption and includes measures to support self-consumption and energy communities. It also foresees. an online platform for self-consumption and renewable energy communities, staffing and skilling, system integration of prosumers. However, the plan could have provided a quantitative assessment of the future uptake of prosumers and energy communities.
- Flexibility and storage The plan foresees an increase of storage capacities, with clear targets of 3,9GW and 1GW, resp. centralized via pumped hydropower and decentralized via batteries. However, the plan would have benefitted from a clear roadmap on demand-response.
- Grids Portugal provides a good analysis of the current energy system and sets a clear target for interconnections, corresponding to the EU objective of 15% by 2030. The plan also mentions the PDIRD-E and PDIRT-E as the programs to support the upgrade resp. of the distribution and transport grids, with no target, however. A plan for the upgrade of distribution grids would have been welcome.
- PV target The NECP target does not fully reflect the potential for solar development in Romania. The country's current 2030 target lacks ambition.
- Auctions The support for RES through auctions is only mentioned implicitly. Details on volumes, schedules and design for renewable and solar tenders are absent.
- Prosumers Positive elements are included in the NECP for prosumer support schemes. At the same time, the plan should be more ambitious on prosumer development.
- Support schemes Slovakia is expected to support renewable electricity generation via feed-in tariffs for projects up to 500 kW and by auction schemes above. The support schemes will apply from 2019 to 2030, with a respective amount of electricity generated of 0,5 TWh and 1,5 TWh. The plan also mentions support for decentralised RES, RES for SMEs and households. However, the total amount of electricity generation supported is 2,5 TWh (where data is available), which is substantially below the 7,6 TWh-E presented in 2.1.2.
- Prosumers and citizens The plan mentions the support to small-scale electricity generation with the aim of maximising the self-consumption ratio. However, the plan does not provide any details regarding the support of prosumers and citizens, neither in terms of capacity nor in terms of financial support volume.
- Flexibility and storage By 2021, 431433 smart meters had been installed under regional distribution system operators (DSOs) out of the final planned number of 414388. The plan also mentions, under the recovery and resilience plan, an investment in 52 MW of installations increasing grid flexibility, without however providing any breakdown of technologies. However, Slovakia does not have a specific objective for increasing the flexibility of the Slovak electricity system for greater integration of RES. National flexibilities and targets should be based on the assessment and quantification of flexibility needs following the transposition and implementation of new EU legislation on electricity market design reform.
- Grids Slovakia is already meeting its 2030 target of 15% interconnection. The plan mentions the Danube InGrid (Danube Intelligent Grid) project, which aim is the wider integration of renewables into the distribution grid through the use of smart technologies at transmission and distribution level, including their smart management. The plan also mentions the ACON (Again COnnected Networks) cross-border smart grid, which will include i.e., the digitisation of more than 200 kilometres of 22 kV lines. However, the plan fails to provide a clear mapping and investment pipeline for cross-border interconnections. In terms of deployment of intra-country transmission lines, the plan remains vague as of the necessary investment to absorb the highest shares of renewables. It also fails to provide details on the necessary investment at distribution level (except from smart grids under Danube InGrid PCI).
- Support schemes The chapter on policies and measures is still under construction.
- Prosumers and citizens The chapter on policies and measures is still under construction.
- Flexibility and storage The chapter on policies and measures is still under construction.
- Grids Slovenia interconnection capacity already exceeds the 15% EU target, with an 80% ratio. A very positive element is the mention of the necessary upgrade of the distribution grid and the interaction with the transmission grid. While the plan rightfully identifies the challenges of the distribution and transmission grid, it fails to provide clear investment pipeline, capacity increase and typology of support.
- Support schemes The volume of auctions for renewables has been increased commensurately with the overall ambition. In the current NECP, there is a general objective to set auctions for the construction of at least 3,5 GW of RES every year, out of which more than 50% will be solar power. There is a calendar for auctions (2022 – 2026) regarding the minimum amount of MW by year and technology (1.800MW/year for PV). Compared with previous NECPs, the information has improved. However, the plan should provide details on the design of the auctions and the criteria for capacity allocation. Also, the auctions are only designed until 2026, whereas the sector needs to have visibility at least until 2030.
- Prosumers and citizens The plan introduces a quota for citizen-led renewable initiatives, which is an improvement compared with the previous plan. The plan includes details and quantified objectives in terms of prosumers’ engagement. It also includes an investment volume for prosumers. As in the previous version, the plan could provide a detailed agenda for prosumers’ support schemes, including soft financing mechanisms.
- Flexibility and storage The plan lists a series of initiatives to promote storage and an objective of 22GW storage by 2030, a substantial increase compared to the previous plan. The investment plan on storage is clearly detailed. However, no details are available on the breakdown per technology nor on the additional vs. existing storage. On demand-response, there is the mention of specific regulation and policy support, but no clear target on the power allocated or the number of aggregators.
- Grids The NECP references the network development plans, and the investments needs in the sector. However, the plan does not detail new investments on electricity grids but only points out the role of TSOs plan (plan for 2021-2026 and an upcoming one for 2024-2029). The draft mainly focuses on grid interconnections rather than reinforcing internal grids. Additionally, given the high RES-E target and the criticalness of the grid access, the plan could have been more detailed regarding the necessary investment until 2030, especially at the distribution level.
- Support schemes Sweden mentions the tax reduction schemes for prosumers, although an estimation of the volume of tax reduction schemes would have been useful.
- Prosumers and citizens The plan mentions the obligation for low-voltage consumers, introduced by Ordinance 1999:716, to deploy net metering systems to facilitate the calculation and reporting of transferred electricity. Prosumers also benefit from tax reduction schemes for excess electricity injected to the grid, and from tax reduction for the installation of individual solar PV systems. However, the plan would have benefitted from more details on the expected uptake of prosumers, including PV and storage capacities. Also, there are no incentives for energy communities.
- Flexibility and storage The plan mentions several developments around flexibility and market integration, including Nordic Balancing Model and capacity markets. At consumer level, a tax reduction of 50% is granted for storage. Sweden has no specific objectives in terms of demand-response and storage. It relies on incentives for network operators to provide such services to end-consumers.
- Grids Sweden has a Net Transfer Capacity (NTC) exceeded the desired level of 30% of peak load at all interconnectors, and most of the times even exceeded 100%. The plan also provides a clear description of NTC related to RES capacities, which also exceeds 30% in all cases. It also mentions the extension of the capacity of the SE-FI and SE-DE interconnectors. Regarding internal transmission capacity, the plan mentions grid reinforcement to manage congestion on the West coast and on the North-South corridor. Sweden has no explicit target for the level of electricity interconnection by 2030, but Sweden had an electricity interconnection level of 23 % at the end of 2021, already higher than the EU’s 2030 target of 15%. On grid reinforcement, although the plan mentions some of them, the progress is still too slow.
From October 2021, the EU Commission makes an assessment of the member states’ progress every two years.
By the 15th of March 2023, and every two years thereafter, member states should report to the Commission on the status of the implementation of their NECPs (progress report), including progress on reaching the targets, updates on policies and measures, and projections.
By the 30th of June 2023 member states must submit a draft update of the NECPs to the Commission or justify that the current plan remains valid.
By the 30th of June 2024 member states should notify the Commission of a final update to the NECPs unless they have justified that the current plan remains valid.