One step closer towards fulfilling the Energy Union: Commission welcomes Parliament committee votes on Clean Energy Package
The European Commission welcomes today’s strong endorsement by the European Parliament of three key proposals of the Clean Energy for All Europeans package (presented by the European Commission on 30 November 2016).
A joint meeting of the Committee on Industry, Research, Telecoms and Energy (ITRE) and the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) voted by a clear majority (by 88 votes for and 11 votes against) in favour of the proposal on the governance of the Energy Union (on which a political agreement was reached by the co-legislators on 20 June). In addition, the ITRE Committee also voted favourably and with a strong majority on new rules for improving energy efficiency (48 in favour, 8 against) and on increasing renewable energy use in Europe (50 in favour, 7 against). Political agreements by the co-legislators on these two proposals were reached on 19 June and 14 June, respectively.
All these proposals form part of the implementation of the Commission’s priority to build a resilient Energy Union and a forward-looking climate change policy. Thus progress towards making the Energy Union a reality is well under way and the work initiated by the Juncker Commission is being delivered on time. Today's endorsement by Parliament’s committees means that four out of the eight legislative proposals of the Clean Energy for All Europeans package are close to full adoption, including the revised Energy Performance in Buildings Directive which has entered into force yesterday 9 July.
Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañetesaid:
Such strong support by Parliament is highly welcome and shows that all EU institutions are determined to get the clean energy transition right and strengthen our fight against climate change. The new Energy Union governance rulebook is the necessary stepping stone for the introduction of comparable energy and climate Plans across the EU and the Long-Term Strategy to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases that are warming up the planet and changing our climate. On energy efficiency and renewables, the new combined targets of 32.5% and 32% will reduce energy imports, boost our industrial competitiveness and leadership, create jobs, lower energy bills, empower the European consumer, help tackle energy poverty and improve air quality. Our path to real energy security and climate protection begins here at home, and our agreement shows Europe's determination to build a modern economy that is less dependent on imported energy and with more domestically produced clean energy. I now call on the European Parliament and the Council to continue negotiating with the same commitment and complete the rest of the proposals of the Clean Energy for All Europeans Package.
Regulation on the governance of the Energy Union
Once in force, it will set out the framework of how EU Member States and Commission should work together and how individual countries should cooperate to achieve the Energy Union – our common project aimed at guaranteeing that all Europeans have access to secure, affordable and climate-friendly energy. It will ensure that the objectives of the Energy Union, especially the EU's 2030 energy and climate targets, are achieved, by making sure that national objectives and policies are coherent with EU goals and in line with our commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement, while at the same time allowing individual countries flexibility to adapt to national conditions and needs. The regulation will equally promote long-term certainty and predictability for investors. Member States are called on to encourage their citizens to participate in the preparation of the plans, to ensure that the views of citizens and businesses as well as regional and local authorities are heard.
Energy Efficiency Directive
The new regulatory framework includes an energy efficiency target for the EU for 2030 of 32.5% with an upwards revision clause by 2023. This new objective shows the EU's high level of ambition and demonstrates the remarkable pace of change of new technologies and reduced costs through economies of scale. The law will extend the annual energy saving obligation beyond 2020, attracting private investments and supporting the emergence of new market actors. Real energy savings are expected to be gained in the next period of 2021-2030 and beyond, coming from new energy efficiency renovations or other measures undertaken in the next decade. The rules on individual metering and billing of thermal energy will be strengthened by giving consumers clearer rights to receive more frequent and more useful information on their energy consumption. Member States will be required to have in place transparent, publicly available national rules on the allocation of the cost of heating, cooling and hot water consumption in multi-apartment and multi-purpose buildings with collective systems for such services. Finally, the new changes will lead to lower energy bills for consumers, thereby also addressing energy poverty issues.
The new regulatory framework includes a binding renewable energy target for the EU for 2030 of 32% with an upwards revision clause by 2023. This will greatly contribute to the Commission's political priority as expressed by President Juncker in 2014 for the European Union to become the world number one in renewables, allowing Europe to keep its leadership role in the fight against climate change, in the clean energy transition and in meeting the goals set by the Paris Agreement. The new rules agreed also create an enabling environment to accelerate public and private investment in innovation and modernisation in all key sectors. Administrative procedures are reduced and simplified, and a clear and stable regulatory framework on self-consumption is established. The proposal also increases the level of ambition for the transport and heating/cooling sectors, and improves the sustainability of the use of bioenergy.
Following the committee votes, the European Parliament will vote on the texts during a plenary session in the autumn of 2018, after which the Council of Ministers of the EU is invited to give its final approval. Once adopted by both co-legislators, the legislation will be published in the Official Journal of the Union and will enter into force 20 days after publication. In the case of the Regulation, the law will be directly applicable as of entry into force. In the case of the Directives, Member States will have to transpose the new elements into national law 18 months after their entry into force.