Brussels – 19/12/2017, yesterday the European Energy ministers agreed on several key legislative files that are part of the Clean Energy Package for All Europeans (Market Design Initiative, Renewable Energy Directive, and Governance of the Energy Union Regulation).
Instead of encouraging the involvement of citizens in Energy Communities, the so called ‘consumer -orientated’ agreement emphasizes the overall costs Energy Communities bring to the Energy System.
Despite the universal adoption and early Entry into Force of the Paris Agreement, the increased public sense of urgency and plenty of proven successful local energy communities, Member states weakened European Commission proposals to empower community energy projects and also decided against increasing the ambition for the target for renewable energy, which is kept at 27% by 2030 thereby hardly deriving from a Business as Usual scenario.
Dirk Vansintjan, president of REScoop.eu explains: “Studies show that by 2050, around 45% of all EU households could be involved in producing renewable energy, more than a third of which could be done through participation in an Energy Community. This is a huge opportunity for local and regional economic development, because we see that locally-owned renewable energy projects deliver 8 times the value of projects that are owned by private for-profit companies that are not from the area. Furthermore Energy Communities have proven to be able to put in place sustainable systems to fight against Energy Poverty which should be one of the main concerns of European policy makers.”
REScoop.eu is very disappointed in yesterday’s agreement of the Council as it failed to take the opportunity to enable a robust, clear and strong legal framework for renewable energy communities that allows citizens to participate in and benefit from the energy transition. On the one hand, European citizens, cooperatives and local authorities are willing to drive the clean energy transition, on the other hand member states still refuse to provide these actors with a right and fair supportive policy framework. This broadening gap between the local and the European level will unfortunately slow down the necessary transition towards Energy Democracy and a fair and efficient Energy Union.
If this preliminary agreement is confirmed at the Council on 26 February 2018, it will kick off the negotiations with the European Parliament and the Commission on the full reform package. REScoop.eu sincerely hopes that the European Parliament and European Commission will fight for the rights of citizens and communities when the Trialogue negotiations start next year.
REScoop.eu is the European federation of renewable energy cooperatives. We are a growing network of 1.500 European energy cooperatives and their members: 1.000.000 citizens who are active in the energy transition. REScoop.eu empowers citizens and cooperatives in their fight for energy democracy.
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