Our 4 recommendations for the revised Renewables Directive
By on 29 February 2016
The 2009 Renewable Energy Directive (RED) has provided a crucial framework and impetus for Member States to enact ambitious national programmes and support schemes for renewable energy installations. Without the RED-mandated national binding targets for renewable energy (RES) and the feed in tariff systems that followed, we would be nowhere near we stand now, especially in terms of technology development and related job creation – for which Europe has played a leadership role. The EU is keen to maintain this champion title, but is being outpaced by other regions and countries such as China. Maybe this shows the time has come for a new approach to renewable energy development: one that centers on what used to distinguish Europe from other regions of the world: its social model.
Building on successful examples from Member States such as Germany (900+ cooperatives, thousands of local utilities), Austria and Scandinavian countries, shouldn’t the EU rather strive to become the world number one in community energy? Such an ambition would bring with it numerous advantages, an obvious one being more social acceptance towards renewable energy projects. In parallel, the trend of “remunicipalisation” is seeing local authorities – which enjoy greater trust levels than multi-national companies – taking back control of local energy supply and grid management, re-investing profits into local development. Civil society in general is wishing to take a more active role within the energy system. What better opportunity for EU institutions to embrace such a trend, and in the process reconnect disillusioned citizens with the big European project?
To go down that road, Energy Cities has fed the European Commission consultation process with four key recommendations: