Energy Union – the Commission’s first real test?

An Energy Union that connects with EU Citizens must integrate the Industrial Policy and Digital Agendas

Time is closing in.  There is an imminent Energy Union Communication (announced for the end of February).  This Communication must be joined up in more ways than one.  This will reveal just how cohesive the new Commission’s policies really are.  “A successful future Energy Union needs to bring the benefits of the newly adopted European 2030 Climate and Energy Framework together with a truly consumer-centric, competitive future internal energy market to European consumers (private and industrial) and  wider society” said Adrian Harris, Orgalime’s Director General. 

It’s about joining together the EU´s industrial- jobs and growth -, energy and digital policy agendas (i).  It’s about boosting energy efficiency throughout all market segments and beyond the equipment level (ii).  And it’s about a future energy retail model that facilitates greater involvement of energy end users and distributed generation (iii).  These 3 key actions simply must go hand in hand. 

“We can use the Energy Union Communication to create a resilient Energy Union together with a forward looking climate change policy and a connected digital single market.  European technology manufacturers are ready to act as a catalyst to enable the transition towards a consumer-centric energy market, driven by customers and a low carbon, energy efficient economy” added Harris, concluding, “Now is the moment to act – we ask policy makers to make the regulatory environment fit to successfully drive the change forward in practice whilst adding the much needed boost for jobs, growth and investment in Europe currently so high on Mr Juncker’s agenda”

Ends

(i) The increasing role of digital technology in the products, processes and systems developed by our industry has become a core driver of growth.  This delivers multiple benefits for Europe´s industry, citizens and wider society, including leveraging energy costs. Making it a cornerstone of the Energy Union Communication means driving innovative, sustainable market models, a healthy manufacturing base and high skill jobs in Europe.

(ii) The different energy policy objectives (from security of supply, world leadership in renewables and competitiveness to sustainability) have one common denominator: energy efficiency.  Increasing the efficiency of equipment (as has been done through the Ecodesign Directive to date) is often reaching its technical limits and will therefore not be enough in the future.  The challenge today is to better exploit the energy savings potentials at system and market level.  A look beyond the Ecodesign Directive is necessary.

(iii) Fair access to real consumption data is an indispensable prerequisite for new entrants to offer competitive services.  The engineering industries are the backbone of manufacturing – a truly functioning internal energy market is the backbone of the Energy Union.  We need to empower consumers and create a ‘bottom up’ retail market rather than continuing the current top down approach.

 

 

Published
6 February, 2015
Category
Press release
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