The Juncker Commission’s landmark clean energy and electricity market reform package, agreed in the last moments of 2018, represents a step forward in decarbonising the European energy system. However, current and future political challenges stand in the way of achieving the change that will be necessary to deliver deep decarbonisation of the EU’s energy sector. Helping member states overcome these challenges should be a priority for the new Commission and Parliament.
This paper sets out a framework to help understand the political challenges that are likely to arise on the road to a decarbonised energy system. Whilst there are many differences across the EU, there is a common underlying set of themes that can be addressed effectively at EU-level.
The period from 2019 to 2024 will be critical if we are to achieve our decarbonisation objectives and EU policy makers must not ‘tread water’ and wait while member state governments implement recently adopted EU energy legislation as part of the ‘Clean Energy for All Europeans’ package. Instead, they must pursue three critical new initiatives:
- Support member states in developing credible plans for growth and jobs in a low carbon future and link this to the important energy system choices that must be made.
- Adapt the regulatory framework to ensure that it drives the energy system transition through improving the lives of all citizens.
- Implement a new security of supply assurance framework to allow resource sharing between member states alongside the decentralisation of the energy system.
It is too early to specify what the solutions to these policy challenges might entail. Instead, this paper identifies the key questions that EU policy makers must seek to answer.
The full report, Making deep decarbonisation of the energy system reality: the challenge for the new Commission and Parliament, can be read here.