EU Parliament pushes prosumers and solar
Amendments to the Renewable Energy Directive contain rights that guarantee an equal playing field for individual citizens and communities so they can participate in and benefit from the energy transition. SolarPower Europe welcomes the decision: “Today the European Parliament has become a clean energy champion. MEPs have agreed on an ambitious 35% European renewable energy objective by 2030, with this vote the Parliament is bringing the EU back on track to global leadership on renewables. This is excellent news for solar, as it strengthens the right to self-consume and brings forward new innovative business models such as third-party ownership, peer-to-peer exchanges and power purchase agreements. Indeed, MEPs have empowered all European consumers, including tenants and low-income citizens, to benefit from affordable and clean solar power. The Parliament should be proud of this achievement which is a big step in the right direction for a consumer-led clean energy transition. The rapporteurs must now stand firm on this level of ambition ahead of the trialogue negotiations in February” said Aurélie Beauvais, Policy Director of SolarPower Europe.
Huge opportunities for local communities
“With the vote, the European Parliament has spoken with a strong voice in support of creating a legal framework that ensures citizens and communities, including those who don’t own a home or are experiencing energy poverty, are not left out of Europe’s energy transition. The European Parliament also voted to boost Europe’s energy efficiency target to a minimum of 35 percent by 2030, and make it binding at the EU level”, Dirk Vansintjan, President of REScoop.eu, the European federation of renewable energy cooperatives comments. “The Parliament has acknowledged that citizens and communities must be brought along for Europe’s energy transition to succeed.” Commenting on the importance of a framework for energy communities Vansintjan says: “This presents huge economic and social opportunities for local communities across Europe,” Vansintjan says, “because there are already numerous examples of energy communities using local ownership and supply of renewables to fund initiatives like energy efficiency, smart grids, energy poverty and local development.”
45 percent of households could produce their own renewable energy
The amendments to all three pieces of legislation represent a significant improvement of the Commission’s “Clean energy for all Europeans” package that it proposed at the end of 2016. Now, the Parliament will enter into intense trialogue negotiations with the Commission and the Council, the latter of which agreed its own common approach at the end of last year. The negotiations will be fierce, as the Council took a very obstructive approach towards citizen and community energy, as well as ambition on renewables and energy efficiency. Studies show that by 2050, around 45% of all EU households could produce their own renewable energy, more than 1/3 of which could come through participating in a renewable energy cooperative. (HCN)
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