European energy intensive companies call for a strong EU framework for energy self-consumption

Photo credit: SBC Renewables Ltd

Ten of Europe’s major energy intensive companies urged European policy makers to set up the right framework for industrial and commercial self-consumption of energy, ahead of negotiations on the Renewable Energy Directive.

Signatories including ArcelorMittal, BayWa r.e., DSM, Dupont, ENI, Novozymes, Total, Shell, Voestalpine and Wacker Chemie have underlined the necessity for the Directive to encourage European businesses to become renewable self-consumers.

James Watson, CEO of SolarPower Europe commented “SolarPower Europe has been extremely active in promoting a wide approach to self-consumption, acknowledging both the benefits and potential of commercial and industrial self-consumption. This can drive the scaling up the development of solar installations in Europe and support the competitiveness of European based businesses. We support the signatories in this endeavour and call on EU Member States to allow commercial and industrial consumers of energy to self-consume without disproportionate charges.”

Industrial and commercial consumers accounts for around half of Europe’s electricity consumption today.

Renewable self-consumption enables large energy consumers in the refining, chemicals, steel, biotech and other EU energy intensive industry sectors to secure a supply of clean electricity. It also supports them to increase their competitiveness by reducing energy costs, while contributing towards the achievement of national climate and renewable energy targets.

Renewable self-consumption is an important tool supporting European industries to achieve their carbon reduction commitments, while supporting Member States to achieve their climate & renewable energy targets. The potential is huge, as alone 67 TWh of green electricity supply will have to be developed by 2030, only to satisfy the commitments of the RE100 companies (which are committed to 100% renewable electricity supply) based in Europe, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Self-consumption will thus bring forward billions of euros of investment and innovation in clean energy technologies in Europe to the benefit of European industry.

To ensure that these benefits occur in Europe, and in the frame of the current negotiations on Art 21 of the Renewable Energy Directive, signatories of this declaration urge policy makers to enable a stable and transparent framework for industrial and commercial self-consumption:
• All European industrial and commercial consumers should be enabled to become renewable energy self-consumers, by developing projects which have no negative impact due to indirect land use change. Barriers to the development of industrial and commercial self-consumption deprives European businesses from a strong competitive advantage.
• The Renewable Energy Directive should empower European businesses to self-consume by enabling the development of innovative business models such as leasing, third party ownership, collective self-consumption, renewable Power Purchase Agreements, or the installation of direct lines within industrial and commercial areas.
• Member States should address legitimate concerns on the financing of the system costs and surcharge mechanisms currently in place in some countries, without suffocating the potential of self-consumption in Europe. Also, they should be urged to implement measures that allow for a full realization of the benefits related to flexibility services that can be provided by intelligent self-consumption oriented renewable energy installations.

European industrial and commercial consumers are committed to supporting a clean energy future for Europe. They are also committed to a sustained financing of necessary system infrastructure. With the right self-consumption framework in place, they will support the European Union in bringing its energy transition to the next level and become a global leader in renewables.

Source: SolarPower Europe