Strasbourg - 17 January 2018, Today the European Parliament voted to approve three key pieces of energy legislation which will help set the stage for Europe’s energy transition: a revised Renewable Energy Directive and Energy Efficiency Directive, and a new piece of legislation called the Governance Regulation.
This legislation cover rules on, among other things, national and European targets for renewable energy and energy savings for 2030, as well as measures to ensure the targets are met. Unprecedentedly – amendments to the Renewable Energy Directive contain rights that guarantee an equal playing field for individual citizens and communities so they can participate in and benefit from the energy transition.
With the vote, the European Parliament has spoken with a strong voice in support of creating a legal framework that ensures citizens and communities, including those who don’t own a home or are experiencing energy poverty, are not left out of Europe’s energy transition. The European Parliament also voted to boost Europe’s energy efficiency target to a minimum of 35 percent by 2030, and make it binding at the EU level. However, the Parliament missed a huge opportunity to adopt strong ambition on renewable energy and energy efficiency, which will be key to decarbonizing Europe’s energy system as it combats climate change.
On the vote, Dirk Vansintjan, President of REScoop.eu, the European federation of renewable energy cooperatives explains: “The Parliament has acknowledged that citizens and communities must be brought along for Europe’s energy transition to succeed.” Commenting on the importance of a framework for energy communities Vansintjan says: “This presents huge economic and social opportunities for local communities across Europe,” Vansintjan says, “because there are already numerous examples of energy communities using local ownership and supply of renewables to fund initiatives like energy efficiency, smart grids, energy poverty and local development.”1
The amendments to all three pieces of legislation represent a significant improvement of the Commission’s “Clean energy for all Europeans” package that it proposed at the end of 2016. Now, the Parliament will enter into intense trialogue negotiations with the Commission and the Council, the latter of which agreed its own common approach at the end of last year. The negotiations will be fierce, as the Council took a very obstructive approach towards citizen and community energy, as well as ambition on renewables and energy efficiency.
1 Studies show that by 2050, around 45% of all EU households could produce their own renewable energy, more than 1/3 of which could come through participating in a renewable energy cooperative. https://www.cedelft.eu/publicatie/the_potential_of_energy_citizens_in_the_european_union/1845
REScoop.eu is the European federation of renewable energy cooperatives. We are a growing network of 1,500 European energy cooperatives and the 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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