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EU Clean Energy Package “Politically Cautious”

EU Clean Energy Package “Politically Cautious”

Today the European Commission released its ‘jumbo’ legislative package of over 1000+ pages implementing the Energy Union strategy. This once in a decade set of reforms will underpin the transformation of the European energy system over the next 15-20 years. With the Paris Agreement in force, increasing climate impacts felt around the world and geopolitical upheaval – this was the moment for the European Commission to set a clear path towards a stabilising low carbon world.

Overall Quote

Jonathan Gaventa, Director at E3G said:

“The package is extensive and mostly sensible, but politically cautious. A number of important measures will help make Europe’s energy transition work better, such as opening markets up to demand side flexibility.

There is little in the package, however, that will drive a radical transformation of the energy market on its own. It will now be up to national governments and the European Parliament – along with citizens, communities, businesses and investors – to pick up the reins.”

Market Design and Renewables Quote

Manon Dufour, Head of E3G Brussels Office said:

“An essential and positive development of the package is the opening of markets to demand side flexibility, and the introduction of the right for consumers to self-consume, store and generate their energy. Both ingredients are necessary to make the EU a global smart energy leader, but not sufficient. ACER and the Commission will need to closely monitor development of demand side resources and trigger additional measures if current policies fall short of this goal.

The Commission’s “Clean Energy for All” package includes a puzzling contradiction in its approach to coal subsidies and treatment of renewables. It is difficult to grasp how the EU will become ‘number one in renewables’ when the same package strikes the rule giving priority to renewable energy and prolongs capacity payments to ailing coal plants. These capacity payments are in direct contradiction to the G7 commitment to phase out fossil fuel subsidies.”

Energy Efficiency Quote

Ingrid Holmes, Director at E3G said:

“By ensuring that energy efficiency and demand side response can compete on equal terms with supply side options, the Commission has moved a step closer to making ‘Efficiency First’ a reality. Opening up energy markets to demand side flexibility is an explicit recognition of the pivotal role energy efficiency must play in the clean energy transition.

The binding 30% in 2030 headline target for energy efficiency represents progress, albeit less than the 40% cost-effective potential that would have represented greater value for consumers and businesses.”

Governance Quote

Quentin Genard, Policy Advisor at E3G said:

“Today’s proposal for a revised governance framework takes an integrated approach to planning, reporting and monitoring of the energy transition. It addresses the right challenge: building investor confidence by holding member states accountable for the delivery of the targets and tackling the energy transition as a multidimensional project.

This governance regulation provides solutions but is failing on strongly integrating already existing and forthcoming tools such as longer term plans, and the Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plans developed by local actors. The proposal also provide little certainty that the targets will be delivered despite the risks in the way.”

Available for comment

Commentators are available for further quotes or clarification – please contact them directly at:

Jonathan Gaventa – +44 7825 409 469

Ingrid Holmes – +44 7825 829 592

Manon Dufour – +32 4777 678 01

Quentin Genard – +32 4849 635 28


Notes to Editors

  1. All the EU Commission publications can be found here –
  2. E3G is an independent global think tank, working to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy. E3G specializes in climate diplomacy, climate risk, energy policy and climate finance.
  3. In 2016, E3G was ranked the number one environmental think tank in the UK by the Go To Think Tank Index, second in Europe and sixth in the World.


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