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Achieving global leadership in renewable energies - EC Fact Sheet

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Renewable electricity, cleaner heating and cooling, decarbonised transport, empowered consumers and at least 27% renewables in the EU will bring clean energy for all Europeans.



This fact sheet summarises the new measures on renewables included in the European Commission's proposal for a revised Renewable Energy Directive. These measures are included in the Clean Energy package which was released by the Commission on 30 November 2016.


The Renewable Energy Directive, together with the proposals on the New Electricity Market Design and governance, will set a regulatory framework that leads to investor certainty and allows a level playing field for all technologies without jeopardising our climate and energy targets.


In order to better accommodate the rising share of renewables, wholesale markets have to further develop and in particular provide adequate rules allowing shorter term trading to reflect the necessities of variable generation. Renewables producers will be able to earn revenues from the market, including system service markets that are required to maintain grid stability and security. By introducing trading closer to the time of delivery well-integrated short-term electricity markets will also reward flexibility in the market both for generation, demand or storage.


Renewable energy will be increasingly market-based, untapped potential needs to be exploited, and certainty and visibility for investors ensured. New rules will allow renewable electricity generators to earn increasing shares of their revenues from the market.


The clean energy package will also guide the design for national support by setting out framework principles to facilitate a cost-effective, market-oriented and Europeanised approach. These principles include cross border opening of support schemes, non-retroactivity and long term visibility for the support.



Heating and cooling sector


Three out of four European homes are heated (or cooled) with fossil fuels. This corresponds to 68% of the EU's gas import, and is a sign of slow growth of clean energy in a sector which takes half of EU's energy needs.


In order to address these challenges, the Renewables Directive includes a number of options for Member States to increase their share of renewable energy in heating and cooling supply, by 1 percentage point per year until 2030. Furthermore, it opens access rights to local district heating and cooling systems for producers of renewables heating and cooling and waste from industry and third parties acting on their behalf.



What are the benefits of the new measures:


For consumers: Solar and wind technology prices have declined respectively by 80% and 30-40% between 2009 and 2015. Such cost-reduction is enabling consumers to increasingly produce their own renewable energy. With the revised Directive, consumers will benefit from stronger rights to:


  •     produce their own electricity, and feed any excess back to the grid;
  •     organise themselves into renewable energy communities to generate, consume, store and sell renewable energy;
  •     stop buying heat/cold from a district heating/cooling system if they can achieve significantly better energy performances themselves.

For the environment: The revised Renewable Energy Directive will help fighting climate change by reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Reaching at least 27% renewables will help reduce GHG emissions and meet our target of at least 40% GHG reduction by 2030. Together with energy efficiency, the EU Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) and other climate change mitigation policies, renewables might help the EU reduce its carbon intensity by up to one third between 2020 and 2030.


For industry: The clearer legal framework provided by the new directive willremove uncertainties for investors, reduce administrative burdens and decrease costs. This will bring benefits for both producers and investors: renewable energy technology suppliers will keep a leadership role; costs of renewables supply chains will be lowered.


For jobs: The new directive focuses on creating the right conditions for renewables to thrive and make the EU a flourishing market for clean energy. The sector already employs more than 1 million people and accounts for 144 billion Euro every year.


For energy security: In 2014, the deployment of renewable energy has cut around 20 billion Euro of fossil fuel imports. Thanks to renewables, Europe could save around 60 billion Euro per year by 2030 in terms of avoided fossil fuel imports. This is the equivalent to the current Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Luxembourg.



To access the fact sheet, please visit the relevant European Commission webpage at the link below.