European Parliament’s ITRE Committee votes on renewables
Brussels, 28 November 2017 - The European Parliament’s ITRE (Industry, Trade, Research and Energy) Committee voted to approve a number of legislative provisions on EU rules earlier today. This ‘new Renewables Directive’ will largely determine the development of renewable energy in Europe until 2030.
The provisions cover rules on, among other things, how national targets are established, national level support for renewable energy, administrative procedures for new installations, and unprecedentedly – rights that provide individual citizens and communities with an equal playing field so they can participate in and benefit from the energy transition.
The amendments supplement the Commission’s “Clean energy for all Europeans” package that it proposed at the end of 2016, and are now set to be voted upon by the entire European Parliament in January or February of 2018.
Up until now, EU legislation only referred to citizens as passive consumers of energy. With the vote, the European Parliament takes a departure from this stance, as it attempts to create an enabling legal framework for citizens and communities that want to participate in the energy transition.
REScoop.eu welcomes the decision to finally recognize Energy Communities in this legislation. However, it has neglected a huge opportunity to voice strong support for ambitious EU and national 2030 targets for renewable energy, failing to opt for a higher nationally binding target, which earlier was expected.
Dirk Vansintjan, President of REScoop.eu, the European federation of renewable energy cooperatives explains: “The amendments voted on by the ITRE Committee today will ensure renewable energy communities have sufficient space and regulatory support to engage in renewable energy production and supply, and most importantly, are not disadvantaged by Europe’s move to tenders as a way to support renewables.” Commenting on the importance of this decision Vansintjan says: “The European Parliament has acknowledged the value that self-consumption can provide to the grid, and the role it can play in supporting local economy and the combat against climate change.”
Studies show that by 2050, around 45% of all EU households could be producing their own renewable energy, more than a third of which could come through participation in a renewable energy cooperative. “This is a huge opportunity for local and regional economic development,” Vansintjan says, “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.”
Download: Press Release
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.
Sara Tachelet – Communications Officer
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