Energie - Related Opinions
The EESC has given strong support to renewable energy sources (RES) in previous opinions and the preparation of the so-called 20/20/20 package.
The increasing share of intermittent RES has prompted intense debates on the technical and economic consequences of such an increase. Beyond a certain share of the energy mix, intermittent RES require additional components of the energy system to be put in place: grid extensions, storage facilities, and reserve capacities. The Committee therefore recommends that significant impetus be given to developing and installing these missing elements.
The EESC welcomes the Commission's proposal to limit "conventional biofuels" to a share of 5%, but does not think that the overall approach is consistent as it appears to pose several risks in relation to the policy goal of a greater use of residual products, by-products and waste products in fuel production. In particular, the EESC disagrees with the Commission's decision to base the measuring of land-use change (ILUC) exclusively on greenhouse gas emissions. Issues such as security of supply and the finite nature of fossil resources do not seem fit into this equation and, as a result, ILUC does not measure up as a policy of sustainability.
The EESC will take a lead in establishing a European Energy Dialogue (EED), a coordinated multi-level, action-oriented conversation within and across all Member States. The programme will be ambitious and funded by stakeholders in the energy chain, linking with existing initiatives and gaining recognition as a trustworthy "social brand" responsive to public needs and concerns. The EED will be synonymous with reliable information about energy, and will offer a "negotiation space" where implementation issues can be discussed against a background of societal impact and acceptance, investment and resource strategy and other policy considerations.
It will influence policy-making across all forms of energy and stimulate convergence at EU level, with strong links to the post-2020 energy and climate action framework. The EESC therefore recommends strong political and administrative backing for the proposed EED.
The EESC views the internal energy market as an opportunity to make good use of the various energy choices made in Europe and to ensure that the system as a whole works as efficiently as possible (via interconnected infrastructure) in the interests of industrial and domestic consumers.
The EESC supports the Commission's approach in so far as it aims to eliminate measures that keep the end consumer from enjoying the benefits of various energy choices.
The EESC notes with great interest the Energy Roadmap 2050 and its objective of providing a framework for the agreed policy of the substantial decarbonisation of the energy sector in Europe by 2050. The challenge is not only to achieve a sustainable and secure low carbon energy mix in a competitive market but to convince civil society that this is an attainable objective. The widest possible debate among the European public will be necessary and the Committee believes the Roadmap can be effective in launching this dialogue. But it must promote engagement at every level – personal, community, regional, national, at EU level and, in particular, with complementary global action.