The energy transition requires a clear political vision, as it is not just a technological issue but also a profoundly social challenge. In the opinion drafted by Lutz Ribbe and Thomas Kattnig and adopted at the Committee's September plenary session, the EESC stresses that the future energy system will need to have both centralised and decentralised elements, but that its organisation cannot be left to chance.
During the debate, Mr Ribbe said: "A clear vision is needed as to whether decentralisation or centralisation should be prioritised. After all, Europe's energy transition first and foremost requires investment certainty for both the public and private sectors, which can only be achieved if clear fundamental decisions are made."
Echoing his words, Mr Kattnig added: "Workers, trade unions and consumers must be involved in the energy transition, as promised by policy-makers and strongly called for by the EESC. However, here too, the Commission and the Member States leave more questions open than they answer. Furthermore, current energy policy initiatives will prevent, rather than encourage, broad public participation."
Centralised and decentralised systems both have advantages and disadvantages. In a centralised system, value creation is typically concentrated on a small number of players. In a decentralised system, however, consumers can contribute as active customers, citizen energy communities, farmers, SMEs and municipal companies. (mp)