On 30 November 2016, the European Commission presented a new package of measures with the goal of providing the stable legislative framework needed to facilitate the clean energy transition – and thereby taking a significant step towards the creation of the Energy Union. Aimed at enabling the EU to deliver on its Paris Agreement commitments, the 'Clean Energy for All Europeans' proposals are intended to help 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 package has three main goals:
- 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 proposals have the potential 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 new emissions targets for 2030. 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.
The package includes 8 different legislative proposals (each with a linked impact assessment) covering:
- Energy Efficiency
- Energy Performance in Buildings
- Renewable Energy
- Electricity Market Design (the Electricity Directive, Electricity Regulation, and Risk-Preparedness Regulation)
- Rules for the regulator ACER
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.
As with all legislative proposals under the EU's ordinary decision-making procedure, the proposals in this package are currently being discussed by the co-legislators - the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union. The Presidents of the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council publicly declared in December 2016 that this package should be seen as a priority in the months ahead.
- Clean Energy For All Europeans Communication [COM(2016) 860 final]
- Clean Energy for All Europeans – unlocking Europe's growth potential (press release: 30 November 2016)
- Commission proposes new rules for consumer centred clean energy transition (news story: 30 November 2016)