The House of Lords EU Committee publishes its report into EU energy governance and states that the EU-wide binding 2030 renewables targets will not be delivered unless it is backed-up by a monitoring and enforcement mechanism that acts as a guarantor for the agreement, and ensures that Member States share the effort equitably.
In the report, the Committee calls on the European Commission to ensure that proposals for a future energy governance framework include legal clarity, a respect for Member State sovereignty, a focus on security of supply, commitment to the consumer, real ambition for decarbonisation and increased regional co-operation.
Among the recommendations the Committee:
- welcomes the introduction of National Energy and Climate Plans, which will help to streamline and add clarity to reporting requirements, but the Committee is not persuaded of the arguments for a new monitoring body for assessing the consistency of these Plans
- also urges the UK Government to be transparent, timely and comprehensive in reporting on its own progress against each of the dimensions of the Energy Union as well as against its own additional domestic targets
- notes that the EU-wide binding renewables target of at least 27% by 2030 has been agreed with the intention of increasing the diversity of supply and reducing the EU's dependency on imported and domestic fossil fuels. But without an effective, transparent, accountable, and legitimate governance mechanism, the significance of the target is considerably diminished, the incentive to Member States to be ambitious is weakened, and any prospect of achieving the overall objective is jeopardised
- recommends that the European Council should, with the Commission, present a much clearer timetable for the establishment of the energy governance framework
- also recommends that the European Council should not only reiterate the binding targets agreed in October 2014, but should also call on the Commission to propose monitoring and enforcement mechanisms that act as a guarantor for the agreement and ensure that Member States share the effort equitably
Other recommendations and conclusions
On capacity markets, the Committee argues that:
- a common framework at the EU level should be developed to assess the need for, and means of achieving, common adequacy standards that secure the availability of supply without escalating prices
- the Commission and Member States should place more emphasis on regional co-ordination to moderate over-investment in new reserve capacity, while ensuring that there is adequate capacity for the safe operation of the system as a whole
- technologies and balancing mechanisms, such as energy storage and demand side measures, should be given equal access to domestic capacity markets
- national capacity markets should be open to cross border mechanisms such as interconnectors and non-domestic generation
The Committee calls on the UK Government to be clear about its own renewable energy strategy and target for 2030 as part of its decarbonisation and energy security objectives. This will help create investor confidence and protect jobs at a time of uncertainty.
The Committee calls on the UK Government to consult with stakeholders and consumers during the development of the UK's National Energy and Climate Plan.
The Committee calls on the UK Government to go to greater lengths to explain to consumers the financial and security benefits of a more integrated EU energy market.
The Committee recommends that the Commission and Member States should work together on a governance framework that recognises the different timescales that are involved and ensures policy coherence between short and long term targets.