Member of European Parliament Reinhard Bütikofer comments on the recent conclusions of the European Council:
Thanks to this tweet by Alice Stollmeyer for the link.
Let’s have a look at some of the conclusions.
stepping up the role and rights of consumers, including change of suppliers, improved management of energy use and own energy generation;
It is indeed one of the main characteristics of the German renewable energy development that most of the generators are owned by citizens. It is nice to see some support at this level for that.
phasing out environmentally or economically harmful subsidies, including for fossil fuels;
Again, good news. The last thing we need on a warming planet is fossil fuel subsidies.
the presentation by the Commission of guidance on efficient and cost-effective support schemes for renewable energies and on ensuring adequate generation capacity;
Potentially bad news, since the Commission might propose some failed idea or other. But as I said when this popped up last year, let’s just wait and see what they come up with.
If the “guidance” is worthless, we can just take note of it. The Commission doesn’t have any power to decide about these questions. It is quite clear that it is for the Member States to decide how they want to support renewable energy. Earlier attempts by the Commission to get the power of deciding on these questions have all failed to get the necessary majority in Parliament and Council.
There is of course much more in these conclusions, but most of the other points are completely uncontroversial (let’s cooperate and exchange information) or delaying decisions until later. That is especially true for policy after 2020. The Heads of State have taken note of the recent Green Paper of the Commission on policy until 2030, but they don’t have any substantial conclusions on the matter right now.