Launching the public consultation process on a new energy market design
Following the COP21 agreement adopted in late 2015, the main focus in the current energy debate is how the transition to a low-carbon economy can be practically achieved in different countries. A key issue is the design of energy markets in terms of rules, infrastructure, and market participants. A new energy market design will ensure that the shift to renewables is universally beneficial while at the same time keeping the lights on for everyone. In the EESC's opinion on the 'new energy market design', the European Economic and Social Committee acknowledged that the European Commission's recently published public consultation paper is a step in the right direction with many proposed measures potentially helping renewables, consumers, and Europe's regions. However, the EU will need to take more action – it must ensure that energy prices become more transparent and reflect actual generation and external costs; it must enable consumers to become active market participants by providing them with adequate information and resources; and it must remove obstacles to market access for the rising number of local self-generation and self-supply initiatives.