The European Economic and social Committee (EESC) supports the Commission's intention as set out in its Communication. Integration of the electricity system with the heat and transport system is vital to reach the goals of climate neutrality, security of energy supply, including reduction of energy imports, and the goal of affordable prices for Europe's consumers and the European economy However, the European Commission does not answer the question of how it intends to achieve security of supply using low-carbon or carbon-free energy sources.
The EESC agrees with the Commission that a lack or inadequacy of CO2 emissions pricing in the heating and transport sector is a serious problem for system integration. Therefore, concrete proposals for solutions are needed. Energy system integration requires modernisation and upgrading in certain areas and in some cases the construction of new energy infrastructure. It is important that investment decisions are taken in such a way as to support energy and climate policy aims.
System integration has the potential to boost innovation in the European economy and so increase its international competitiveness. This will only be successful, however, if the potential of digitalisation for system integration in particular is unlocked, while the deployment of artificial intelligence and machine learning must be carefully weighed against its usefulness and potential ethical problems. Finally, system integration requires completely reconfigured energy markets, to be designed in such a way as to promote community energy and empower consumers. At the same time, attention should be paid to the public sector's role in security of supply.