Today, Commissioner for energy Kadri Simson presented the State of the energy union report to the European Parliament. Adopted on 26 October 2021, the report looks back at a number of significant steps towards delivering the European Green Deal, which happened in the course of last year.
Amongst the milestones highlighted in the report, renewable energy sources overtook fossil fuels, as the EU’s main power source. The renewable energy market has shown to be resilient to the effects of the pandemic. To increase EU energy independence, we need to keep investing in renewable energy sources, but we also need to do more to decrease our dependency on fossil fuels. Market coupling, interconnectedness and a common trading platform for electricity are important tools to increase our independence. Further harmonisation of national rules on energy trading and system operation will be instrumental to protect us from price hikes in the future.
The report also shows that the EU is a global frontrunner when it comes to clean energy research. Europe is leading the way in green technology, but we must also invest in developing the EU’s green manufacturing market share. Next year, the European Commission will present a solar strategy to make sure that the EU’s green manufacturing can compete on a global level. This strategy will require large-scale public and private investments for which the Recovery and Resilience Facility is an essential tool.
In their interventions, Members of the European Parliament pointed to the importance of protecting vulnerable consumers in the light of the high energy prices. One important way of doing this is by mobilising funds to increase energy efficiency. Energy efficiency will not only be cost effective for investors and vulnerable households, but it will also decrease our energy dependency.
In the Parliament’s view, large investments will be needed to maintain this comparative advantage in clean energy research and innovation over time. There was an overarching agreement for the need to increase our use of renewables and improve the energy infrastructure by connecting the energy grids in Europe.
25 November 2021