The EU has agreed a comprehensive update of its energy policy framework to facilitate the transition away from fossil fuels towards cleaner energy and to deliver on the EU’s Paris Agreement commitments for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The completion of this new energy rulebook – called the Clean energy for all Europeans package - marks a significant step towards the implementation of the energy union strategy, adopted in 2015.
Based on Commission proposals published in November 2016, the Clean energy for all Europeans package consists of eight legislative acts. After political agreement by the Council and the European Parliament in 2018 and early 2019, enabling all of the new rules to be in force by mid-2019, EU countries have 1-2 years to transpose the new directives into national law.
The changes will bring considerable benefits from a consumer perspective, from an environmental perspective, and from an economic perspective. It also underlines EU leadership in tackling global warming and provides an important contribution to the EU’s long-term strategy of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.
Energy performance in buildings
Buildings are responsible for approximately 40% of energy consumption and 36% of CO2 emissions in the EU, making them the single largest energy consumer in Europe. By improving energy performance in buildings, the EU can more readily achieve its energy and climate goals. The energy performance in buildings directive (EPBD) outlines specific measures for the building sector to tackle challenges, updating and amending many provisions from the 2010 EPBD.
With a view to showing global leadership on renewables, the EU has set an ambitious, binding target of 32% for renewable energy sources in the EU’s energy mix by 2030. The recast renewable energy directive entered into force in December 2018.
Putting energy efficiency first is a key objective in the package, as energy savings are the easiest way of saving money for consumers and for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The EU has therefore set binding targets of at least 32.5% energy efficiency by 2030, relative to a ‘business as usual’ scenario. The amending directive on energy efficiency has been in place since December 2018.
The package includes a robust governance system for the energy union, through which each Member State is required to draft integrated 10-year national energy and climate plans (NECPs) for 2021 to 2030 outlining how they will achieve their respective targets on all dimensions of the energy union, including a longer-term view towards 2050. With the governance Regulation in force since December 2018, all Member States submitted their draft NECPs by early 2019. As required under the rules, the Commission published an analysis of each draft plan with recommendations to be taken into account, as EU countries seek to finalise the NECPs by the end of 2019.
Electricity market design
A further part of the package seeks to establish a modern design for the EU electricity market, adapted to the new realities of the market – more flexible, more market-oriented and better placed to integrate a greater share of renewables. The electricity market design elements consist of four dossiers - a new electricity regulation, and amending electricity directive, risk preparedness and a regulation outlining a stronger role for the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER).
The adoption process for each of the eight dossiers is shown in the table below: it contains links to the respective adoption documents and press releases announcing the political agreements.
In addition to the legal acts in the Clean energy for all Europeans package, the Commission has started a number of non-legislative initiatives aimed at facilitating the clean energy transition and ensuring that it is a fair transition. These include
- the Coal regions in transition
- the Clean energy for EU islands initiative
- measures to define and better monitor energy poverty in Europe.
- Clean energy for all Europeans package completed (news item 22 May 2019)
- Publication: Clean energy for all Europeans (May 2019)
- Video: Clean energy for all Europeans – consumers
- Video: Clean energy for all Europeans – energy efficiency
- Video: Clean energy for all Europeans – renewable energy
- Factsheets (January 2019):
- Commission proposes new rules for consumer-centred clean energy transition (news item: 30 November 2016)
- Energy Performance of Buildings Directive 2018/844
- The revised Renewable Energy Directive (EU) 2018/2001
- The revised Energy Efficiency Directive (EU) 2018/2002
- Governance of the energy union and climate action (EU) Regulation 2018/1999
- Regulation on risk-preparedness in the electricity sector (EU) 2019/941
- Regulation establishing a European Union Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (EU) 2019/942
- Regulation on the internal market for electricity (EU) 2019/943
- Directive on common rules for the internal market for electricity (EU) 2019/944