Finalising the Clean Energy Package: priorities for the Austrian Presidency

DISCLAIMER: All opinions in this column reflect the views of the author(s), not of EURACTIV Media network.

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Member States must strongly support the proposal of the European Parliament to add a budget line for local authorities to tackle global challenges, including through their decentralised cooperation, writes Marlène Siméon. [Orgalime]

Member states, the European Parliament and the European Commission have made remarkable progress on the Clean Energy Package to date – which Orgalime, representing the European technology industries, warmly welcomes, writes Malte Lohan.

Malte Lohan is the Director General of Orgalime. The content of this article was published as an open letter sent by Orgalime to the Austrian Presidency and EU Energy Ministers on 14 September 2018.

Not only did policymakers agree to lift up Europe’s 2030 energy efficiency and renewable energy ambition, they also unlocked the untapped energy efficiency potential of buildings by prioritising the renovation of the existing building stock, embracing the innovation offered by technical building systems and by putting in place determined long-term renovation strategies.

By striking these forward-looking, resilient deals for Europe and its people and by making serious efforts in reaching tangible compromises that improve the quality of life for all of us, EU legislators are helping the move towards a low-carbon economy that in turn generates economic growth, boosts investment and creates local jobs.

Considering the fundamental role of energy in delivering the UN Sustainable Development Goals and implementing the Paris Agreement – on both of which the world is not on track – Orgalime stresses the importance of now finding agreement on the pending proposals for a new electricity market design under the Austrian Presidency.

In particular, we are seeking the support of the Presidency and EU Energy Ministers in preparing Europe to successfully manage the coexistence of centralised and decentralised electricity production through:

  • Accelerating the technology-neutral deployment of innovative, low-carbon and energy efficiency technologies and implementing smart grids at all levels: smart distribution grids will be increasingly relevant for successfully managing the new complexity of a highly energy-efficient and variable, renewables-based energy system. The performance of transmission system operators (TSOs) and distribution system operators (DSOs) in relation to the development of a smart grid should be regularly measured.
  • Including all flexibility sources, allowing all generation, storage, energy efficiency and demand resources to participate on equal footing in the market, and establishing a common European Framework for Capacity Remuneration Mechanisms and European Resource Adequacy Assessment.
  • Incentivising flexible, clean and “fast delivery” technology solutions and flexibility through appropriate price signals, including mandatory offers of dynamic tariffs and enabling Europeans to manage energy according to real-time information.
  • Removing today’s overcapacity with regard to most polluting and less flexible power generation.
  • Providing a definition of storage that remains open for all types of technologies, including power-to-x technologies, thermal heat storage and small-scale storage, and the market-based ownership, development, management and operation of storage.
  • Better differentiating between the different types of data (commercial vs technical) regarding data management and data formats and ensuring fair, non-discriminatory access to commercial data for new entrants, privacy and cybersecurity.

The European technology industries are calling for the adoption of these policies, which present the opportunity to set a new global standard, in particular in view of the next UN-FCCC (COP 24) in Katowice in December this year. We are convinced that delivering on a timely and ambitious final Clean Energy package can become that rarest of prizes in the political world: a win-win for all stakeholders – for our planet, for our citizens, and for the European technology industries driving this move to a sustainable future.

Read Orgalime’s detailed recommendations for finalising the Clean Energy Package here.

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