Climate and energy policy
1.1 eu climate and energy policy recommendations
The Energy [R]evolution presents European decision-makers with a cost-effective and sustainable pathway for our economy, while tackling the challenges of climate change and the security of energy supply.
A fully renewable and efficient energy system would allow Europe to develop a sound energy economy, create high quality jobs, boost technology development, secure global competitiveness and trigger industrial leadership.
At the same time, the drive towards renewables and the smart use of energy would deliver the necessary greenhouse gas emissions cuts in the upper range of 80 to 95% by 2050 compared with 1990 levels, which Europe will have to realise in the fight against climate change.
But the Energy [R]evolution will not happen without much needed political leadership: The European Union and its member states will have to set the framework for a sustainable energy pathway. The next step on this road is the adoption of a 2030 climate and energy package with ambitious targets on emission reductions, renewable energy and energy savings.
A continuation of the successful triple targets for 2030 will provide industry certainty, mobilize investment in renewable and energy saving technologies and secure the necessary climate ambition.
At present, a wide range of energy-market failures still discourage the shift towards a clean energy system. It is high time to remove these barriers to increase energy savings and facilitate the replacement of fossil fuels with clean and abundant renewable energy sources.
European decision-makers should demonstrate commitment to a clean energy future, create the regulatory conditions for an efficient and renewable energy system, and stimulate governments, businesses, industries and citizens to opt for renewable energy and its smart use.
Greenpeace and EREC propose four steps that the European Union and its member states should take to realise the Energy [R] evolution.
1. Adopt legally binding targets for emission reductions, energy savings and renewable energy
Commit to legally binding emission reductions of at least 30% by 2020 To contribute to limiting global temperature increase below two degrees Celsius (2° C) the EU should reduce its greenhouse gas emissions domestically by at least 30% by 2020 compared to 1990 levels. For 2030, the Energy [R]evolution scenario shows that the energy sectors, including power generation, heating and cooling as well as transport, can make a significant contribution with a 56% greenhouse gas emissions reduction. Moreover, the EU should provide substantial additional finance to assist developing countries mitigate climate change with clean energy technologies and forest protection.
Set a legally binding target of 45% renewable energy for 2030 With the adoption of the Renewable Energy Directive, European member states have committed to legally binding targets, adding up to a share of at least 20% renewable energy in the EU by 2020. The Energy [R]evolution scenarios demonstrate that even more is possible. To reap the full benefits that renewable energy offers the economy, employment, energy security, technological leadership and emission reductions, the EU should set legally binding national targets that add up to a 45% share of renewables across Europe in 2030.
Set a legally binding target for energy savings for 2030 Saving energy makes sense both from an environmental and an economic perspective. A high level of energy efficiency is fundamental for climate action and competitiveness. An ambitious, binding energy savings target for 2030 is necessary to move towards a resourceefficient energy system.
2. Remove barriers to a renewable and efficient energy system
Reform the electricity market and network management After decades of state subsidies to conventional energy sources, the entire electricity market and network have been developed to suit centralised nuclear and fossil production. Current ownership structures, price mechanisms, transmission and congestion management practices and technical requirements hinder the optimal integration renewable energy technologies, particularly those of a variable and decentralised nature.
As an important step towards the reform of the electricity market, all European governments should secure full ownership unbundling of transmission and distribution system operations from power production and supply activities. This is the effective way to provide fair market access and overcome existing discriminatory practices against new market entrants, such as renewable energy producers.
A modernisation of the power grid system is urgently required to allow for the cost-effective connection and integration of renewable power sources. The European Union and its governments should ensure the implementation of the guidelines proposed under the trans-European energy infrastructure regulation. These conditions are necessary to develop grid connections for renewable energy, including offshore, as well as for smart grid management and active demand side management.
To facilitate this modernisation, the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) should be strengthened and the mandate of national energy regulators should be reviewed.
Both ACER and the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) should develop a strategic interconnection plan until 2050 which enables the development of a fully renewable electricity supply.
In parallel, electricity market regulation should ensure that investments in balancing capacity and flexible power production facilitate the integration of renewable power sources, while phasing out inflexible ‘baseload’ power supply and preventing the introduction of supporting payments in the form of capacity payments.