Eurelectric's Presidency team, headed by Magnus Hall (Vattenfall) as President, and Pat O'Doherty (ESB) and Leonhard Birnbaum (E.ON) as Vice-presidents, has successfully supported Eurelectric in the last eighteen months through challenging times. The Association dealt with the new European Institutions taking office in 2019, the emerging challenges linked to Covid-19 and the need to increase the investments in a fossil-free energy transition, in line with the Green Deal and Paris Agreement’s goals.
Eurelectric has consistently promoted the three presidency priorities established in May 2019 – electrification as the key driver in the transition to a carbon-neutral future, decarbonised electricity generation and increased societal acceptance and involvement of citizens in the energy transition – as the three guiding pillars towards the decarbonisation of the power sector by 2045. In parallel, the presidency team’s own commitment to decarbonise their respective businesses underpinned Eurelectric ambition and discussions.
Magnus Hall said:
“I believe that the presidency priorities continued to support our work in Eurelectric to stay on track and focus on realising more ambitious decarbonisation and electrification discussions in the association. This has contributed to securing Eurelectric reputation as a trustworthy partner among the European stakeholders in road towards a carbon neutral economy by 2050”.
The presidency priorities supported the Association, in times when a tremendous amount of policy changes came up. The European elections led to a majority (60%) of new MEPs entering in the European Parliament for the first time, whereas the new European Commission took office on 1 December 2019. In the same month, the Commission published the Green Deal as the new European growth strategy. Eurelectric adapted to this fast-evolving EU policy context by meeting the new MEPs and by promptly addressing the main Green Deal opportunities and challenges for the energy transition in the association’s positions and messages.
Eurelectric coped with a period of unprecedented crisis triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic by monitoring its impact on the European power markets and by publishing recommendations and best practices. The association called on politicians for an acceleration of green investments in the electrification of buildings and heating, industrial processes and deployment of EV charging infrastructure in the EU recovery package. The European Institutions agreed an extraordinary recovery effort, the Next Generation EU (NGEU) accounting for 750 billion, to help the EU to rebuild after the COVID-19 pandemic and to support investment in the green and digital transitions.
“Eurelectric has successfully built consensus around the key role of electrification – based on fossil-free electricity – as the most direct and cost-efficient way to fully decarbonise the European economy by 2050. To that end, Eurelectric has convinced the European policy-makers on the importance of electrification and decarbonisation across sectors”, Mr Hall added.
EU leaders agreed in July 2020 on a comprehensive package of €1824.3 billion – which combines the multiannual financial framework and the NGEU. In the State of Union, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced that 37% of NGEU budget would be invested to achieve the European Green Deal objectives, including the energy sector.
Eurelectric has finally given great attention to the need of achieving a just energy transition in the third presidency priority. In this respect, the Association published the e-quality study and extensively lobbied the European Institutions on the importance to not leave anyone behind, which was reflected in the European Commission’s proposal for the Just Transition Fund, which accounts for 40 billion. Eurelectric also gave voice to its members’ corporate ambition and social responsibility to become true energy partners for customers in the “15 pledges to customers” declaration.
Magnus Hall has decided to leave the presidency of Eurelectric, after 3.5 years of commitment to two presidency teams, from May 2017 to May 2019 as Vice-President, and from May 2019 to November 2020 as President. Pat O'Doherty will take over as interim President of Eurelectric as of 26 November for the next six months.
Magnus Hall concluded:
“Eurelectric’s reputation and experience in dealing with energy transition challenges and opportunities proves that the association is a valuable partner in the decarbonisation of the European economy. I am honoured to have had the trust to lead as president and very pleased that Pat O’Doherty has stepped in after my departure and I feel confident in leaving the presidency in his capable hands.”