European Commission: More ambition from energy and climate plans +8 recommendations for Spain

European Commission

The European Commission published its assessment of national energy and climate plans submitted by 28 EU member states. The Commission stressed that these national plans represent a “significant effort” and indicates there is still space for improvement in this regard, such as specific policies that guarantee achieving the 2030 goals and the path toward climate neutrality.

Global leader in energy transition

The European Union has committed to leading the transition to clean energies and has thus become the world’s first large economy to establish a legal framework to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. Therefore, this is the first time that EU member states have integrated the energy and climate sectors into a single plan.

The main purpose of establishing National Energy and Climate Plans is to facilitate the transition to carbon neutrality. However, this transition entails deep changes for the bloc’s economy.

Hence, under the new Regulation on the Governance of the Energy Union and Climate Action, which came into force in December 2018, member States should:

  • Develop national energy and climate plans that cover the five dimensions of the Energy Union:
  1. Safety, solidarity, and trust.
  2. A fully integrated internal market.
  3. Energy efficiency.
  4. Climate action/Decarbonization of the economy.
  5. Research, innovation, and competitiveness.
  • Provide a first draft to the European Commission on December 31, 2018 and a final plan by December 31, 2019.
  • Reporting on the progress made with these plans, mainly every two years.

European Commission demands more ambition

The European Commission has assessed the drafts provided by the member States and, although it qualifies them as a huge effort toward energy transition and climate neutrality, it indicates they lack ambition.

“Last November we proposed that the European Union should become climate neutral by 2050. We have shown and led the way forward. It is good to see that a growing number of Member States are following our lead and working towards that goal. Having evaluated Member States draft national plans, I am positive about the significant efforts that have been made. However, in the final plans even more ambition is needed to set the EU on the right track in fighting climate change and modernizing our economy,” Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete said.

The recommendations made by the European Commission to member States include:

  1. Energy efficiency and renewable contributions. Some states must increase their efforts and further exploit their nation’s potential, while others should confirm their objectives.
  2. Establishing measurable, reachable, and realistic goals that are within the aforementioned five dimensions.
  3. Establishing additional policies and measures that are more concrete that give way to meeting the goals and national contributions.

Recommendations for Spain

The European Commission’s website provides access to the recommendations for each nation, available in the EC’s official language, English, and can be downloaded in PDF format. According to the Commission, Spain must consider 8 points for its final plan:

  • Underpin the welcome level of ambition of a 42 % renewable energy share for 2030. Also, provide further details on measures to reduce administrative burden and on the enabling frameworks for renewable self-consumption and renewable energy communities.
  • Further exploring current measures for energy savings.
  • Facilitate information on phase-out from nuclear power.
  • Define forward-looking objectives to address the foreseeable evolution of the tariff deficits in the electricity and gas sectors.
  • Further clarify national objectives and funding targets in research related to the Energy Union for 2030.
  • Intensify the existing good regional cooperation with France and Portugal, in particular cross-border and cross regional interconnections.
  • List all energy subsidies, including in particular for fossil fuels, and actions undertaken as well as plans to phase them out.
  • Integrate just and fair transition aspects better. More specifically, the plan should address the impacts on the coal and carbo-intensive regions.

Spain delivered its national integrated energy and climate plan on February 22, 2019 and like other member States it has until December 31 to hand in the final project.

For more information, check Energía16

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