The EU is in the process of updating its energy policy framework in a way that will facilitate the clean energy transition and make it fit for the 21st century. On 30 November 2016, the European Commission presented a new package of proposal – the Clean Energy for All Europeans Package - with the goal of providing the necessary stable legislative framework – and thereby taking a significant step towards the creation of the Energy Union and delivering on the EU’s Paris Agreement commitments. By December 2018, four of the eight dossiers had been formally adopted, with political agreement achieved or within view for all of the others.
The new policy framework brings regulatory certainty, in particular through the introduction of the first national energy and climate plans, and will encourage essential investments to take place in this important sector. It empowers European consumers to become fully active players in the energy transition and fixes two new targets for the EU for 2030: a binding renewable energy target of at least 32% and an energy efficiency target of at least 32.5% - with a possible upward revision in 2023. These ambitious targets will stimulate Europe's industrial competitiveness, boost growth and jobs, reduce energy bills, help tackle energy poverty and improve air quality.
When these policies are fully implemented, they will lead to steeper emission reductions for the whole EU than anticipated – some 45% by 2030 relative to 1990 (compared to the existing target of a 40% reduction).
To strive towards a long-term greenhouse gas reduction objective, the framework also sets up a robust governance system for the Energy Union and outlines specific measures for the building sector - the largest single energy consumer in Europe with considerable potential for gains in energy performance.
These new targets also played an important part in the Commission’s preparations for its long-term vision for a climate neutral Europe by 2050, published on 28 November 2018.
The package includes 8 different legislative proposals (each with a linked impact assessment), with political agreement having been reached on five of the eight files, as shown below (as of December 2018):
- Energy Performance in Buildings (press release 17/04/2018, Questions & Answers)
- Renewable Energy (press release 14/06/2018, Factsheet )
- Energy Efficiency (press release 19/06/2018, Factsheet )
- Governance (press release 20/06/2018)
- Risk-Preparedness Regulation (press release 22/11/2018)
- Electricity Market Design (the Electricity Regulation and Electricity Directive)
- Rules for the regulator ACER
|Energy Performance in Buildings||30/11/2016||Political Agreement||17/04/2018||14/05/2018||19/06/2018 - Directive (EU) 2018/844|
|Renewable Energy||30/11/2016||Political Agreement||13/11/2018||04/12/2008||-|
|Energy Efficiency||30/11/2016||Political Agreement||13/11/2018||04/12/2018||-|
|Risk Preparedness||30/11/2016||Political Agreement||-||-||-|
The 'Clean energy for all Europeans' package is aimed at helping the EU energy sector become more stable, more competitive, and more sustainable, and fit for the 21st century. With a view to stimulating investment in the clean energy transition, the three main goals of the package are:
- Putting energy efficiency first
- Achieving global leadership in renewable energies
- Providing a fair deal for consumers
By encouraging cross-border cooperation and mobilising public and private investment in the clean energy sector (it is estimated that EUR 379 billion will be required each year from 2021 onwards) these new rules are likely to be good for the economy, generating an estimated 900 000 jobs and an increase of up to 1% in GDP over the next decade.
By embracing renewables and other new and innovative technologies they also have the potential to be good for the environment – for example, by delivering on greater emissions reductions by 2030 than previously expected.
They also have the potential to be good for consumers, paving the way to lower consumer bills, a better quality of life at home and in the workplace, and more opportunities for individuals to produce their own clean energy.
By achieving these aims, this package can also maximise EU leadership in the clean energy transition and in the fight against climate change, and help non-EU countries achieve their policy goals.
As with all legislative proposals under the EU's ordinary decision-making procedure, the proposals in this package need to be politically agreed by the co-legislators - the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union – in conjunction with the Commission. They are subsequently formally adopted by the European Parliament and the Council and then published in all languages in the Official Journal of the European Union.
Other parts of the package include:
- Communication on an Ecodesign working plan 2016-2019
- Communication on accelerating clean energy innovation
- Communication on a European strategy on cooperative, intelligent transport systems
- Separate reports on Energy prices and costs in Europe and the implementation of the European Energy Programme for Recovery (EEPR) and the European Energy Efficiency Fund
These proposals build on existing EU policies and funding opportunities, such as research, development and innovation projects under the Horizon 2020 Programme, and ongoing EU-financed investment programmes, for example the Connecting Europe Facility, the European Energy Programme for Recovery and other European Structural Investment Funds (ESIF), as well as funding through the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), where there are more projects related to energy than any other sector.