The European Parliament's energy committee (ITRE) today adopted two reports setting out its position on the European Energy Union, proposed by the EU Commission, and a proposal for a 10% target for electricity interconnectivity. After the votes, Green MEP Peter Eriksson, who is the EP's rapporteur/draftsman on the interconnectivity target, said:
"MEPs have today voted to give qualified support to the proposed 10% target for electricity interconnectivity in the EU. Ensuring a much higher level of interconnectivity between national power systems is essential for ensuring a more flexible, decentralised and sustainable energy sector, and facilitating an increase of renewable energy. An overall 10% target can help to this end but this must be backed up by regional goals and indicators to take account of the differing situations across Europe and ensure a well-integrated electricity market. A more interdependent system requires improved European coordination and this implies a greater role for the EU's energy regulators agency (ACER). Prioritising 'best available technologies' will help ensure public support for infrastructure projects."
Commenting on the vote on the EP's position on the Energy Union, Green energy spokesperson Claude Turmes said:
"MEPs have today urged the Commission to deliver on the promise of the Energy Union proposal. While the Commission's initial proposal lacked ambition, MEPs have today urged a refocus of this flagship project for Europe to ensure it can promote a real, citizens-centred energy transition, with energy efficiency and renewable energy at its heart.
"On the crucial issue of governance over the energy union, where the Commission is preparing a legislative proposal, MEPs issued a clear call for an ambitious and transparent system, which fully involves parliament in the democratic oversight. MEPs also expressed their concerns with plans to expand the Nord Stream pipeline, which would affect security of supply and destabilise Ukraine.
"Unfortunately, MEPs failed to support a clear call for a 40% binding energy efficiency target for 2030, despite Parliament having previously supported this on a number of occasions. We will now push to ensure this core demand is reintroduced at the plenary vote. The Commission should then respond and outline different models envisaging all scenarios from 27% to 40% and not stopping the ambition at 30%, as is currently the case. This is both feasible and would bring clear economic and employment benefits across Europe. MEPs also urged the Commission to do more do deliver on President Juncker's promise of making Europe the 'world number one' on renewable energy. The Commission should outline a clear strategy to this end."