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, these acts are expected to enter into force by summer 2019, although EU countries have 1-2 years to transpose the new directives into national law. The package will help ensure a clean and fair energy transition at all levels of the economy and sets a clear and common sense of direction. It brings regulatory certainty, which will facilitate the necessary public and private investment in the clean energy transition.
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. The energy performance in buildings directive (EPBD) outlines specific measures for the building sector to tackle these challenges, updating and amending many provisions from the 2010 EPBD.
More about energy performance of buildings.
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.
More about renewable energy.
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.
More about energy efficiency.
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 have submitted their draft NECPs, and the Commission is currently analysing each draft NECP and, under the regulation, is mandated to come forward with country-specific recommendations by 30 June 2019.
More about governance of the energy union.
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).
More about electricity market design.
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.
|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||21/12/2018 - Directive (EU) 2018/2001|
|Energy Efficiency||30/11/2016||Political Agreement||13/11/2018||04/12/2018||21/12/2018 - Directive (EU) 2018/2002|
|Governance of the Energy Union||30/11/2016||Political Agreement||13/11/2018||04/12/2018||21/12/2018 - Regulation (EU) 2018/1999|
|Electricity Regulation||30/11/2016||Political Agreement||26/03/2019||Scheduled in May 2019||-|
|Electricity Directive||30/11/2016||Political Agreement||26/03/2019||Scheduled in May 2019||-|
|Risk Preparedness||30/11/2016||Political Agreement||26/03/2019||Scheduled in May 2019||-|
|ACER||30/11/2016||Political Agreement||26/03/2019||Scheduled in May 2019||-|
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.
- Publication: Clean energy for all Europeans (May 2019)
- Factsheets (January 2019):
- 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)