EURELECTRIC has called for the Commission to ensure that the new Renewable Energy Directive promotes the future deployment of renewable energy in the EU based on market principles and supported by a strong EU ETS.
In its response to the European Commission’s consultation for a new Renewable Energy Directive, EURELECTRIC says that in developing the upcoming legislative proposals, the Commission should ensure consistency between the agreed 2030 climate and energy targets. In particular, the post-2020 framework for RES must ensure a coherent economy-wide approach, enabling the efficient distribution of renewable assets and efforts. Both the ETS and the non-ETS sectors should contribute in the most cost-effective way to achieve the EU-wide renewables target for 2030.
“The EU aims to become a world leader in renewable energy. The European power sector is fully committed to this objective and we are committed to deliver carbon neutral electricity supply by 2050,” said EURELECTRIC Secretary General Hans ten Berge. “As electricity becomes increasingly low carbon, replacing fossil based systems with electric technologies which utilise electricity from renewables and other low carbon sources will provide a promising pathway to decarbonise these sectors.” Electrification of the non-ETS sectors (such as transport, heating and cooling) is a technically and economically effective way to further enhance the contribution of renewables to the EU’s decarbonisation objectives.
The technological development and market experiences have given the power industry confidence that renewables will become fully competitive with other power generation technologies. This will require that future RES deployment is sustainable, cost-efficient and based on market fundamentals.
In its response to the consultation EURELECTRIC emphasises that the EU ETS should be the main driver for RES investments in the electricity sector. Strengthening the EU ETS will result in a reinforced carbon price signal and an accelerated cap reduction, meaning that additional measures to promote RES can be minimised within the ETS sectors. As a technology-neutral, European wide instrument, the EU ETS can also bring an increasingly EU wide approach to low carbon technologies development and investment.
If Member States choose to continue to provide support for mature RES after 2020, it should be done in the most cost-efficient and market-based way: it should help maximise the market integration of RES and minimise distortions, including distortions of the merit order. Further alignment of the key characteristics of support schemes, on the basis of common EU rules, should take place. The partial opening of support schemes, joint projects and regional schemes provide other means to increase consistency and adopt a more cost efficient approach to RES.
The European Council of October 2014 agreed on an EU-wide binding target of 27% share of renewable energy consumption by 2030, which will not be translated into targets at the Member State level. The existing policy and legislative framework must be updated to reflect the renewables target for 2030 and to align it with the overall 2030 Framework for Climate and Energy. This consultation was launched to collect stakeholders’ views on a new Renewable Energy Directive for the period post-2020, foreseen before the end of 2016.
The European power generation mix is becoming increasingly low carbon, with a growing share of renewables - in 2014, 56% of electricity in the EU came from low carbon sources. In the same year, the share of RES in the in the power mix became, for the first time, the largest source of low carbon electricity in the EU, comprising 28% of total power generation. EI New Energy’s Top 100 Green Utilities 2015 index shows six European companies ranked in the top ten.