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EU energy plan - will it go far enough?


brussels bureau

EU energy plan - will it go far enough?

It is all about limiting climate change and boosting sustainability. But campaigners says new energy legislation due to be unveiled by the European Commission risks slowing progress.

They claim renewable energy will lose its current priority in the queue, when it comes to getting access to the power grid.

“If we do not have this rule it means that grid operators will be able to put other technologies on the system – energy from nuclear, from coal – ahead of renewables and they will no longer have the incentive to really address the issues that are stopping more renewables being on the grid,” said Tara Connolly, from Greenpeace EU.

Activists also want to see a bigger energy efficiency target put in place, to help make the move to a low carbon economy. Savings of 40 percent in fact.

Brook Riley, from Friends of the Earth Europe, commented: “By going for 40 percent we are looking at almost of a quarter of million lives saved between now and 2030 because we are going to be preventing premature deaths which are currently caused by bad air quality. We are also going to see hundreds of thousands of new jobs created.”

Both environmentalists and the industry in Europe support an idea to allow more citizens to produce, store and even sell energy.

But business leaders want to have more freedom from executive powers.

“Let’s not get all the subsidies and interference in the market, but let’s compete with the solar panels, the decentralized incineration, lets compete with grids and batteries, and let’s make the best economic solution for the citizens there,” said Hans Ten Berge, Eurelectric Secretary-General.

“And this is not made in the Brussels office, this is not made by policymakers, this is decided at the end of the day by the consumers.”

EU officials hope their plans will strengthen future energy security, while respecting commitments under the Paris Climate Change agreement to reduce pollution.

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