Europe's energy transition is well underway
The Second Report on the State of the Energy Union shows that the modernisation of the European Union economy and the transition to a low-carbon era are happening. In terms of greenhouse gas emissions, energy efficiency and renewable energy, Europe is on track to reach its 2020 targets. To further drive this process, the Commission today is announcing a new Energy Union tour.
In line with its commitment to report annually on the state of the Energy Union, the European Commission is publishing today its Second State of the Energy Union Report. This report looks at the progress made since the publication of the first State of the Energy Union in November 2015. These reports are central elements to monitor the implementation of this key priority of the Juncker Commission.
Maroš Šefčovič, the Vice-President responsible for the Energy Union, said:
"The Energy Union is about more than energy and climate alone; it is about accelerating the fundamental modernisation of Europe's entire economy, making it low-carbon, energy and resource efficient, in a socially fair manner. We should also strengthen the Energy Union's external dimension, to enhance the EU's global leadership role. Now that a large part of the relevant legislative proposals are on the table, 2017 should be the year of implementation. This is the message that I will bring to Member States during the new Energy Union tour, which I will launch on 3 February".
Miguel Arias Cañete, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, said:
"Europe is well on track to meet its 2020 climate and energy targets. Despite the current geopolitical uncertainties, Europe is forging ahead with the clean energy transition. There is no alternative. And the facts speak for themselves: renewable energy is now cost-competitive and sometimes cheaper than fossil fuels, employs over one million people in Europe, attracts more investments than many other sectors, and has reduced our fossil fuels imports bill by €16 billion. Now, efforts will need to be sustained as Europe works with its partners to lead the global race to a more sustainable, competitive economy."
Since the publication of the first State of the Energy Union, several trends in the EU's transition to a low-carbon economy were continued and strengthened. The Commission will carry out further in-depth analysis of Member States' policies, using the new Energy Union Tour throughout 2017.
As well as the Second State of the Energy Union, today the Commission is also publishing a document that includes an upgraded set of specific indicators to observe and assess the progress that has been made in meeting the Energy Union objectives, as well as setting out a new monitoring approach and methodology. The process was developed through exchanges with and feedback from EU countries and by collecting opinion from stakeholders through reports and events. The technical data and analysis that underpins this document provides a factual snapshot of the situation across the EU, by bringing together a wide range of Energy Union energy and climate data and indicators. The document's aim is to serve as a starting point and practical tool for Member States in the preparation of integrated national energy and climate plans.
In addition, the Commission is publishing today a document titled 'Energy storage – the role of electricity'. Energy storage can play a very significant role in the implementation of the Energy Union, in particular through its contribution to the internal market, decarbonisation, and innovation dimensions.