STRASBOURG – The clean energy package that was discussed at the European Parliament in Strasbourg today will focus on renewables and modern technologies, European Commission Vice President for the Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič told New Europe.
“I’m absolutely convinced that what we proposed is the most ambitious transformation of our energy systems in the centralised fossil energy systems been built in Europe,” Šefčovič said, asked if the package could be used as a backdoor to subsidise high-polluting fossil fuels.
“We’re going for decentralisation. We’re going for renewables, we’re going for clean energy and we’re really proposing very strict rules if it comes to the capacity mechanisms, including limits of 550 grams of CO2 per Megawatt hour, which means that even these capacity mechanisms cannot be used as a backdoor for subsidies for some kind of outdated polluting technology,” the European Commission Vice President for the Energy Union said.
Earlier this morning, Members of the European Parliament discussed legislative proposals to ensure clean energy for all Europeans with Šefčovič.
He told New Europe he is convinced that “this package is really about clean energy, it’s really about renewables, it’s really about the new modern technologies, and it’s really about opening the large possibilities for the European citizens to become very, very active consumers, real players on the market and I believe that this will just accelerate the transformation of energy systems which we need do much”.
In his opening remarks to the plenary, Šefčovič asked the European Parliament to make sure that Energy Union would become also the legal reality.
“We have presented to you over the past two years the strategy, the legislation and the enabling environment for turning Energy Union from the catchy buzzword to the reality we live in. With last week’s package we are almost 90 percent done with what we have promised,” Šefčovič said, adding that the package has eight legislative proposals and some important communications and reports.
“The three main goals are: how to put energy efficiency first, how to achieve the global industry with renewables and what we can do to provide a really fair deal for our consumers,” the Slovak commissioner said, adding that the clean energy package would have a major impact on jobs and growth.
“I believe what we are putting on table is in full accordance with the reporting and planning of the Paris Agreement,” he said. “Calling for an increase transparency and more predictability, which we introduced into the system as well because we see them as two essential preconditions to attract investment and needed to fundamentally transform and modernise our economies,” Šefčovič said.
“We would like to see the final form by beginning 2019 and this would be an important goal of my second Energy Union term which I would like to start by February next year,” the Energy Union chief said.
He passed the floor to Commissioner of Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete, who reiterated that the main building blocks of the legislative proposal cover energy efficiency, renewable energy, the redesign of the electricity market, and governance rules for the Energy Union.
He underlined one of the essential elements of the package is putting consumers at the center. The new rules will enable them, if they want, to produce their own renewable energy and to be paid for the electricity they put in the grid, Cañete said.
During the discussion Energy Committee Chair Jerzy Buzek from Poland remarked “the system of management of our Energy Union includes an indicator of energy import dependence. Good, that’s what we wanted”.
Buzek also hailed the ambitious objective of 30% renewable energies, noting that the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE). has always been in favour of energy effectiveness.