The European Commission presented yesterday a package of measures to keep the European Union competitive as the clean energy transition is changing the global energy markets.

The Commission wants the EU to lead the clean energy transition, not only adapt to it. For this reason the EU has committed to cut CO2 emissions by at least 40% by 2030 while modernising the EU’s economy and delivering on jobs and growth for all European citizens. Proposals have three main goals: putting energy efficiency first, achieving global leadership in renewable energies and providing a fair deal for consumers.

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Consumers are active and central players on the energy markets of the future. Consumers across the EU will in the future have a better choice of supply, access to reliable energy price comparison tools and the possibility to produce and sell their own electricity. Increased transparency and better regulation give more opportunities for civil society to become more involved in the energy system and respond to price signals. The package also contains a number of measures aimed at protecting the most vulnerable consumers.

The Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič said: “This package will boost the clean energy transition by modernising our economy. Having led the global climate action in recent years, Europe is now showing example by creating the conditions for sustainable jobs, growth and investment. These proposals touch upon all clean energy related sectors: research and innovation, skills, buildings, industry, transport, digital, finance to name but a few. These measures will equip all European citizens and businesses with the means to make the most of the clean energy transition.”

Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said: “Our proposals provide a strong market pull for new technologies, set the right conditions for investors, empower consumers, make energy markets work better and help us meet our climate targets. I’m particularly proud of the binding 30% energy efficiency target, as it will reduce our dependency on energy imports, create jobs and cut more emissions. Europe is on the brink of a clean energy revolution. And just as we did in Paris, we can only get this right if we work together. With these proposals, the Commission has cleared the way to a more competitive, modern and cleaner energy system. Now we count on European Parliament and our Member States to make it a reality.”

The Commission’s “Clean Energy for All Europeans” proposals are designed to showt hat the clean energy transition is the growth sector of the future – that’s where the smart money is. Clean energies in 2015 attracted global investment of over 300 billion euros. The EU is well placed to use our research, development and innovation policies to turn this transition into a concrete industrial opportunity. By mobilising up to 177 billion euros of public and private investment per year from 2021, this package can generate up to 1% increase in GDP over the next decade and create 900,000 new jobs.

The Clean Energy for All Europeans legislative proposals cover energy efficiency, renewable energy, the design of the electricity market, security of electricity supply and governance rules for the Energy Union. In addition the Commission proposes a new way forward for Ecodesign as well as a strategy for connected and automated mobility.

The package also includes actions to accelerate clean energy innovation and to renovate Europe’s buildings. It provides measures to encourage public and private investment, promote EU industrial competitiveness and mitigate the societal impact of the clean energy transition. We are also exploring ways in which the EU can show further leadership in clean energy technology and services to help third countries achieve their policy goals.

Background

In October 2014 the European Council agreed on the 2030 climate and energy policy framework for the EU setting an ambitious economy-wide domestic target of at least 40% greenhouse gas emission reduction for 2030. The Paris Agreement vindicates the EU’s approach. Implementing the 2030 energy and climate framework as agreed by the European Council is a priority in follow up to the Paris Agreement.

The EU is consolidating the enabling environment for the transition to a low carbon economy through a wide range of interacting policies and instruments reflected under the Energy Union Strategy, one of the 10 priorities of the Juncker Commission.

The Commission has already brought forward key proposals to implement the EU’s target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. In 2015, it presented a proposal to reform the EU Emission Trading System (ETS) to ensure the energy sector and energy intensive industries deliver the emissions reductions needed. In summer 2016, the Commission brought forward proposals for accelerating the low-carbon transition in the other key sectors of the European economy. Yesterday’s proposals present the key remaining pieces to fully implement the EU’s 2030 climate and energy framework notably on renewables and energy efficiency.

All the Energy Union related legislative proposals presented by the Commission in 2015 and 2016 need to be addressed as a priority by the European Parliament and Council.