The Renewable Energy Directive
(RED) and the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) need to become more ambitious
if the EU is to achieve its objective to be climate neutral by 2050 and reduce GHG emissions
by 55% by 2030. Energy Cities submitted detailed responses to the European
Commission on how the Directives should be revised to ensure citizens are at
the forefront of meeting these transformational targets.
What does Energy Cities advocate?
and more ambitious targets at EU and national levels. Two observations: the incentives measures
in the directives haven’t been met and the climate neutral objective by 2050
requires higher ambitions. Therefore, we should adopt binding and more
ambitious targets in the EED and the RED. We could aim for a broader base and
greater depth of building renovation, a higher target for renewable up
to more than 40% by 2030 (today 32% by 2030) and enhanced targets for the annual
average increase of renewables in heating and cooling and district heating.
- Development of
financial and technical support to the local governments/cities. Local governments,
working closely with citizens and energy communities, are in the best place to
renovate buildings and increase the share of renewables. Compulsory heating plans can be a good solution when combined with
support to local governments to enable them to develop their planning as part
of a highly effective neighbourhood approach. To do so, we suggest to:
- Extend massively
programmes such as EU City Facility
- Reinvest at the local
level the revenue from ETS and the unmet emissions reductions targets.
One-Stop-Shops to inform
and support citizens along the home renovation process.
of the role of energy communities in the promotion of renewables. We
advocate for the recognition of the key role of energy communities in a social,
equitable and citizen-centred approach to the energy transition. Moreover, it
is crucial to support the increasing share of renewables in the energy systems
as it is the main source of income that enables energy communities to develop
further plans such as renovation ones.
adoption of a circular approach. Energy Cities underlines the need to
optimise the local energy flows rather than create new capacity in the system.
We need to develop the existing energy sources and solutions such as the use of
waste heat from data centres, industry or ports.
- End the energy taxation and subsidies disparities: the disparity of gas taxation and subsidies
compared to electricity is a disincentive in general to electrification and in
particular to invest in more efficient technologies based on renewable
electricity such as heat pumps or district heating.
- Energy Efficiency First principle must apply in every
spending and policy decisions. It should apply the whole value chain, in
particular on the renewable alternatives for heating buildings.
Biggest potential impacts for cities
For local governments and cities,
the revision of the directives can have a great impact. Indeed, the Commission could
frame an obligation for public
authorities to buy only green energy as their purchasing power and high
electricity consumption can be a driver for change.
The Commission can also increase
the required percentage of renovation of
the public building, extend it to the local public buildings (today it is
3% of central government buildings per year) and /or focus on certain buildings
such as schools, hospitals or social housing.
The Commission could also decide
to enforce national obligations to
deliver heat planning at a local level to ensure that the renewable heating and
cooling target is achieved. For Energy Cities, this must be coupled with
appropriate technical and financial support.
The revision of the directives could
be a real opportunity to boost local
energy efficiency and renewable initiatives. For this to work, local governments
need to be widely supported by national and European funds. Lack of resources is therefore our biggest
We are also concerned that the revision
of the RED also encompasses measures
regarding the development of biofuels and hydrogen. For Energy Cities, the
directive must not treat renewable energies and biofuels or hydrogen in the
same way. The priority is therefore to promote the most decarbonated energies
and efficient technologies in all the sectors that can be electrified.
The European Commission will
present the “Fit for 55 package” in 2021 and the updated Renewable Energy
Directive (RED) and the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED), are expected in June
2021. Energy Cities will maintain the political pressure on these issues in the