EBA at EUFORES annual event on renewable energy

The focus of this high-level meeting was on energy security and the post-2020 EU legal framework for renewables.

For the 3rd consecutive year, EBA assisted to EUFORES Inter-Parliamentary Meeting, this time in the Danish parliament, gathering members of parliament from national and EU levels, key decision makers from the European Commission and national governments as well as the renewable energy industry. This high-level political forum focused this year on foreign policy aspects related to energy and the importance of domestic renewable energy production for Europe’s energy security at a time of mounting uncertainty. Mr Yeppe Kofod from the European Parliament stressed that rather than investing in projects like the North Stream pipeline, the EU should focus on its internal infrastructure and take regulatory measures to boost renewable energy generation. Mr Rainer Baake, German State Secretary for energy and the economy, said that as flexible renewable sources make a bigger share of the electricity mix, more advanced long term storage technologies will be needed like power to gas.

Throughout the conference there was strong optimism over renewable’s recent technological development and their constant cost reduction compared to non-renewable energy sources, even if concerns remained about lower government support and prevailing regulatory barriers. Maros Sefcovic, Vice-President of the European Commission, said that 2016 will be the year of delivery for the EU’s Energy Union, referring to the upcoming Commission proposals for renewables, biomass sustainability and electricity market design. He pointed out that the priority is to set a robust post-2020 renewable energy framework to give investors the certainty that they need to take renewables to the next level. Mr Claude Turmes from the European Parliament warned about the imminent risk of failing to make ETS work and about the need to have a gap filler instrument so that member states do their part towards fulfilling the 2030 European renewables target. He also called for zero carbon EU legislation to be in place by 2030 to meet the Paris commitments.

The last day of the conference focused on energy efficiency and buildings. Paul Hodson, Head of Unit of the European Commission, explained that the European Fund for Strategic Investments is planned to double, and that the Commission wants to aggregate smaller projects to be able to invest on local infrastructure and even privately owned buildings. He also mentioned a planned revision of energy labelling for heating devices and boilers. The concluding remarks highlighted the importance of increased cooperation between decision makers from the regional, national and EU levels, to improve consistency between different regulatory frameworks, and to bring Europe to an ever closer Energy Union.

EBA will keep working within the EUFORES platform to provide expertise on the anaerobic digestion and gasification sectors.