Happy New Year ... and happy new energy system?

By Alix Bolle on 18 January 2018

In an op-ed article published in the Energy Post beginning of the year, Energy Union Commissioner Maroš Šefčovič reminded readers that the EU should soon be equipped with a new energy legal framework that will “bring the […] deepest transformation of energy systems in Europe, since the [industrial revolution] one hundred and fifty years ago.”! Quite a big announcement here, and a good opportunity for Energy Cities to cross-check if we have the same energy future wishes than Mr. Commissioner.

“Energizing and modernizing the European economy”
Talking about his position as Energy Union chief, Šefčovič told Energy Post that what he liked about the job was “making sure that we are energizing and modernizing the European economy”. Reading further into the article, he mentions “decentralized energy” as one key dimension of the “new modern economy in Europe”. However, his vision remains focused on technology enablers rather than new governance processes, and macro-economic indicators are still the main reference point. The Commission never fails to highlight the importance of building one big, single European energy market, but never devotes that much attention to supporting local efforts for energy democracy. Building this gigantic energy market spider web is one thing, but equally important is to support the activities of small honeycombs everywhere across Europe!

In 2018, we at Energy Cities plan to continue displaying the honeycomb successes, showing what’s possible and happening and how local authorities are acting as middle-men between a growing number of players. Stay tuned for a series of best practices and case studies to be posted in the coming months on

Encouraging signals from EU lawmakers!

The news from three crucial votes last Wednesday in the European Parliament set a good tone to begin the year!

On energy efficiency, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) voted for a stronger framework than the original European Commission’s proposal, supporting a binding 35% target as well as 1.5% annual savings including energy use in transport.

On the recast of the renewable energy directive, MEPs backed a 35% target (against 27% in the original Commission’s proposal), including strengthened provisions for community energy and prosumers.

Last but not least, on the crucial legislation on the governance of the energy union, a key provision on which Energy Cities lobbied actively was backed up: the request upon Member States to directly involve citizens and local authorities in energy planning via the creation of permanent energy and climate dialogue platform. EU parliamentarians also voted for a net zero 2050 GHG target, setting for the first time a Paris-compatible “carbon budget” at EU level.

This leaves the Parliament with an ambitious position to enter negotiations with the Council and European Commission as part of the trilogue process scheduled to begin end of February.

©: EU commission

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