Français
Graphic

Energy Cities presents a brighter, local State of the Energy Union !

By Alix Bolle on 1 February 2017

The Energy Union should be an opportunity to accelerate the energy transition and define a new set of roles, rights and responsibilities for the new players who are at the forefront of it. Instead, the project is mostly focused on creating a giant supergrid of interconnected national energy markets, forcing almost all kinds of renewable energy projects to compete along the same rules.

As the Commissioner in charge makes his presentation of the “state of the energy union”, Energy Cities decided to provide an alternative picture of how the energy transition has progressed at local level across the five pillars of the Energy Union: decarbonisation, energy efficiency, the internal market, energy security and research and innovation. For each of these pillars, the paper points to recommendations on how European competition and energy legislation could be improved to sustain the momentum.

#1 Decarbonisation means a proper phase-out plan for fissile and fossil-based economies

Cities are the lead actors of the post-carbon economy, with many of them committing to fossil-fuel-free or climate neutral strategies, while others adopt ambitious divest plans. To go forward however, these decarbonisation efforts require a similar push from the EU level, with incentives to channel European funding or revenues from the ETS auctioning towards local sustainable energy projects, which hold great potential to bring Europe closer to its climate neutrality goals.

# 2 Energy security requires a real (sector and player) diversification strategy

Merely switching energy suppliers to address geopolitical shocks is not the most viable way of addressing security of supply. Relying excessively on capacity reserves from centralised power stations - an option still favoured by numerous EU Member States - also very much reads like an outdated solution in an energy system underpinned by technologies that are increasingly flexible, distributed and decentralised. At local level, cities are putting real diversification into action, not only changing providers but also working across sectors and networks: using heat as an energy source or storage medium, and more generally optimising the various flows that cross their territories. To continue down that road however, they must be supported by an internal market that discourages overcapacity instead of supporting it, and that enables more innovative practices to combine the various local networks in order to increase the system flexibility.

# 3 New market realities call for reshuffling responsibilities

Moving to a “fully integrated” energy system also calls for consolidating the position of new entrants such as local utilities and cooperatives. More and more cities are creating their own energy companies and supporting citizens who strive to become energy producers and the new internal market rules should better accommodate their fair participation to the market.

# 4 Energy efficiency efforts should rely on a systemic logic

Increasing energy efficiency is about much more than reducing end user consumption.
It supposes planning intelligently the development of a neighbourhood, district, city or larger area. At present, EU legislation sometimes poses obstacles to this integrated approach by favouring individual solutions that can be counter-productive.

#5 Research and innovation efforts should support 2050 transition visions

Research & Innovation efforts across Europe should help cities test innovative transition kits, putting more emphasis on social innovation and experiencing with new practices.

Any further suggestions?

>> Local State of the Energy Union, by Energy Cities

Members
Map of members
WELCOME TO NEWEST MEMBERS:
Union of Communities of Armenia (AM) Armenia | Agencia de Energia & Ambiente da Arrabida - Energy agency Portugal | Mariupol Ukraine | Cities Northern Netherlands (NL) Belgium | Lisboa e-nova - Energy agency Portugal
Opinions
Opinions
Events to come
Webinar: “Streets for children, streets for all”, a collective project to share and design public space in La Rochelle
Thursday 23 March 11:00-12:00

SMART ISLANDS BRUSSELS EVENT
Tuesday 28 March

Webinar: What prospects for EU Energy Efficiency Policies - Findings from the Energy Efficiency Watch Project
Tuesday 28 March 11:30-13:00

Intelligent Planning for Sustainable Mobility
From 29 to 30 March

Covenant of Mayors and CEDEC Webinar - How to boost local gas production from biomass or waste water: Inspiration from biogas-powered cities
Thursday 30 March 12:00-13:30

Webinar: Financing the energy renovation of residential buildings through soft loans and third-party investment schemes
Friday 31 March 10:00-11:00

All coming events >>
Line
Find Energy Cities on
Line
separator
You are here: Energy Cities, Local authorities in energy transition. > Newsletters > Newsletter - Energy Cities - en > 247 - February 2017

About
Association
Board of Directors
Members
Team
Jobs
Internships
Come and meet us
Position papers
Join
How to join
Why we joined
Actions
Initiatives & Campaigns
Projects
Past projects
Workshops
Webinars
Annual Conferences
Study Tours
Resources
Energy transition: our proposals
Best practices from members
Publications
e-libraries
EC INFO Magazine
Newsletter
Blog
MEDIA
Press releases
Articles
Communication tools

 
Addresses Energy Cities - Besançon Energy Cities - Bruxelles