Posted by Alexandra Latham on June 30th, 2014
Last Friday, the European Council discussed how the EU and Member States could and should address the EU energy security challenge, based on the recent Commission’s Communication “European Energy Security Strategy”
AEBIOM, EGEC and ESTIF welcome this discussion. Our organisations also take note that the key action identified by the Commission-the acceleration of the switch from fossil fuels to renewables in the heating sector, is not mentioned in these Conclusions. However, we trust that this discussion is only at a starting point and that further decisions, expected in the coming months, will contribute strongly to the EU energy dependency challenge by developing renewable heating and cooling.
The current security of supply emergency is mainly a heating crisis. The renewed concerns for our security of supply are largely due to the EU’s heavy dependency on natural gas from Russia. Renewables for heating & cooling must be a pillar of the EU’s energy security strategy.
The renewable heating and cooling sector is also fundamental to decarbonising our economy and to increasing its competitiveness. Unfortunately, the Commission’s 2030 proposal, setting out a GHG emissions reduction target of 40% and an EU RES target of 27% , would imply a very limited increase of renewables in heating and cooling, corresponding to the business as usual scenario. While a 2030 framework based on a truly ambitious and binding renewable energy target would avoid much more fossil fuel imports and would deliver many more jobs, the Commission’s proposed option reflects the least ambitious pathway. This option needs to be urgently reconsidered with more ambition.
In October, European Council will meet to take a position on the EU 2030 Climate and Energy framework. AEBIOM, ESTIF and EGEC see this coming debate as a great opportunity to continue and complete the discussion started last week through setting a legally binding ambitious renewable energy target, combined with an Energy efficiency target. This will allow renewable sources (for the electricity, heating & cooling, and transport sectors) to continue to act as a major tool to address energy dependency as well as EU climate and economic goals.
More details are available in the position paper published by AEBIOM, ESTIF and EGEC on 21st May