Energy Union and Climate Change Policy Report

Tomorrow the Juncker EU Commission will be in office for one year. For the occasion they have prepared overview reports on what they have achieved in that time frame.

The report for energy and climate is here (PDF).

Page 3 of the report states that 53% of EU energy is imported at a cost of 400 billion euro a year. With oil, the dependency on imports is at 90%, and 94% of transport relies on oil.

That of course means that if Europe succeeds with the goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 40% until 2030, that bill for importing fossil fuel will go down accordingly. Even if there was no global warming threat, it makes sense for Europe to have a fast transition to renewable energy, since you don’t need to pay other countries for the fuel.

Page 6 is a quote from the “Energy Union Framework Strategy” adopted in February. It starts out with this:

We need to move away from an economy driven by fossil fuels (…)

Exactly. It’s nice to see that the EU Commission understands this.

Page 11 shows a map of the present state of interconnection of electricity markets on the left and the Commission’s goal on the right:

map

Having a large interconnected area helps securing stability in a system with an increasing share of intermittent renewable sources. The only remaining islands in 2020 are Portugal and Spain.

Page 13 notes that extreme weather has gone up by 60% in the last thirty years, which leads to 192 billion a year to be spent on climate protection. It also notes that employment in “green jobs” is up by 40%, from 3.0 million to 4.2 million, between 2001 and 2011.

Page 17 gives an overview of the schedule of regulatory overview the Commission has in mind for the next couple of years. According to that, next year will see a revision of the Directive on Energy Efficiency and the Directive on Energy Performance of Buildings. For 2017 they plan a review of the Guidelines on State Aid for environmental protection and energy and the Directive on Promotion of Clean and Energy Efficient Road Vehicles.

I recall that I have been rather critical of the Guidelines mentioned above, calling them “harmful and useless” when they were published. I also recall that Stiftung Umweltenergierecht has explained why they are illegal.

And finally, I recall that the Commission got away with their illegal power grab and strongly influenced the 2014 German reform of the Renewable Energy Law, which will lead to higher costs because of scrapping the successful feed-in tariffs and using an auction model instead.

So I am looking ahead to the 2017 revision of the Guidelines. By that point, we will have gained some experience with the new auction model and will have data to compare it with the resoundingly successful previous feed-in tariff, especially concerning costs.

I expect them to go up. But we will see in a couple of years.

Published by kflenz

Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo. Author of Lenz Blog (since 2003, lenzblog.com).

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