The European Commission says that it plans to cut energy use across the bloc by 30% by 2030. The proposal is at the heart of a new package unveiled by the Commission to help meet its commitments to cut carbon under the Paris agreement. The plans also seek to boost renewables and give greater power to consumers to sell any electricity they produce. But green groups have criticised the measures saying they keep the door open for subsidies to coal. Under the Paris Climate Agreement the EU promised to cut emissions of CO2 by 40% by 2030. Today’s plans to cut waste and make better use of renewables are a key part of that promise. The Commission’s ideas for a 30% binding target on energy efficiency will see new incentives for smart metering and innovative design. Energy suppliers and distributors will have to save 1.5% each year from 2021 to 2030. There will also be a big focus on renovating older buildings. This sector accounts for 40% of Europe’s energy consumption and the proposal aims to create a building renovation market with a value of up to 120bn euros by 2030. The Commission also re-iterated it’s policy of having renewables make up at least 27% of final energy consumption by 2030, including a 50% share of electricity production. However, in markets where they already have a 15% share, green energy producers will no longer have priority to sell their power to the grid over traditional producers such as coal and gas – a negative development according to many environmental campaigners. The Commission’s plan also aim to encourage individual consumers and community groups to produce their own power. Small-scale renewable installations will still have priority on the grid – but there will be a limit on the size of the community or individual power supply. “It is scandalous to cap the size of renewable energy cooperatives and bias market access in favour of inflexible fossil fuel giants,” said Tara Connolly from Greenpeace “Europe will only meet its climate responsibilities if it enables its citizens to accelerate the transition to 100% renewables.” For the UK, it is not yet know if the new proposals will become law before Brexit. Sources say that the opportunities to bid from some of the funding available under the schemes and to supply energy to neighbouring markets will be the subject of negotiations as part of the UK’s exit.
BBC 30th Nov 2016 read more »
Europe will begin phasing out coal subsidies and cut its energy use by 30% before the end of the next decade, under a major clean energy package announced in Brussels on Wednesday. The 1,000 page blueprint to help the EU meet its Paris climate commitments also proposes measures to cut household electricity bills, integrate renewables into power markets, and limit use of unsustainable bioenergy. Jonathan Gaventa of E3G called the legislation “politically cautious” while ClientEarth lawyer Maria Kleis-Walravens dubbed it “disappointing in the extreme”. “Civil society has one hand tied behind its back, making it easier for industry to continue its capture of the legislative process,” Kleis-Walravens said. “There is a very high risk that Europe won’t get the energy transition it needs to provide clean, affordable power for all.”
Guardian 30th Nov 2016 read more »
The European Commission has released a major new clean energy package designed to help the trading bloc deliver on its pledge to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 40 per cent by 2030. The once-in-a-decade set of reforms – which will need to be approved by both the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament before entering law – include plans to ramp up the EU-wide energy efficiency target to 30 per cent by 2030 and phase out subsidies for coal power. But campaigners claim the package is too cautious to unleash the clean energy revolution needed to successfully prevent dangerous climate change. Jonathan Gaventa, director at the environmental think tank E3G, described the package as “politically cautious”. “A number of important measures will help make Europe’s energy transition work better, such as opening markets up to demand side flexibility,” he said in a statement. “There is little in the package, however, that will drive a radical transformation of the energy market on its own. It will now be up to national governments and the European Parliament – along with citizens, communities, businesses and investors – to pick up the reins.”
Business Green 30th Nov 2016 read more »
European Commission 30th Nov 2016 read more »