As part of a package of publications, the Commission has announced new objectives to guide the EU’s energy policy and has announced the preparation of an EU renewable energy legislation package for 2007, as well as additional measures to achieve these objectives.
In its Communication on an Energy Policy For Europe, the Commission proposes that European energy policy seek to achieve the following two key objectives:
- an objective in international negotiations for developed countries to achieve a 30% reduction of their greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 compared to 1990 levels.
- a commitment for the EU to achieve at least a 20% reduction in its greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 compared to 1990 levels.
A legislative package for renewable energy
To help meet the objectives above, the Commission announced that it would prepare a legislation package for renewable energy for 2007. Measures in this package may include:
- the introduction of a binding target for the level of renewable energy in the EU’s overall energy mix to 20% by 2020 (compared to 7% currently).
- a requirement for this EU level target to be reflected in mandatory national targets and for member states to specify how they would comply with these targets in national allocation plans containing sectoral targets.
- the introduction of a binding target for 10% of the overall consumption of petrol and diesel in transport to come from biofuels by 2020.
To support the objectives of this legislation package, the Commission is also considering taking further action to remove the barriers to the development of renewable energy projects, by for example simplifying grid connections and extensions for such projects.
In addition to the presentation of a renewable energy legislation package, the Commission has also announced other measures in relation to renewables, including:
- the presentation of a European Energy Technology Plan in 2007 which would aim to lower the cost of renewable energy by taking various initiatives.
- taking forward the energy efficiency measures outlined in the Energy Efficiency Action Plan published in October 2006 (which includes improving the efficiency of heat and electricity generation, transmission and distribution).
In addition, the Commission reaffirmed its long-term commitment to the EU Emissions Trading Scheme.
These proposals will be watched carefully by industry participants and investors in the renewable energy sector as well as governments and energy regulators and a legislative package is expected during the course of 2007.