Between a trans-European super grid and local energy islands – the right mix of decentralised solutions and centralised structures for an economically, socially and ecologically sustainable energy transition
EESC opinion: Between a trans-European super grid and local energy islands – the right mix of decentralised solutions and centralised structures for an economically, socially and ecologically sustainable energy transition
The European Economic and Social Committee points out that energy transition is not just a technological issue but also a profoundly social and political challenge. Future energy system will have both centralised and decentralised elements, and its organization should not be left to chance. In a centralised system, value creation is typically concentrated on a small number of players. In a decentralised system, consumers can contribute to value creation as active customers, citizen energy communities, farmers, small and medium enterprises and municipal companies. Therefore, the question of how the new energy system will be organised is much more than just a technical question, it is a highly political issue.
With regard to the economic and social policy consequences, the EESC reiterates its position that decentralised energy systems provide major impetus for regional development and can lead to the creation of new, high-quality and skilled jobs in the regions. As this critical power grid infrastructure is a natural monopoly, the fundamental question is whether it should not belong to the public sector in the interests of sustainable security of supply, particularly as it was created and expanded using a considerable amount of public funds.