Press release: European Parliament overbids Commission proposal on renewables and energy efficiency directives



Brussels, 18 January 2018


The European Parliament voted yesterday in Strasbourg on the review of the Renewable Energy Directive and Energy Efficiency Directive.

A 35 % target of renewable energy sources in 2030 is crucial to realize Europe’s ambition to become the global leader in the renewables sector. “CEDEC welcomes the European Parliaments efforts to support an energy transition in line with its ambitious climate targets”, said Gert De Block, Secretary General of CEDEC, while recalling: “In the diverse European energy landscape, subsidiarity and proportionality of EU legislation are key to achieve an effective and cost-efficient transition to sustainable and more decentralised generation in the internal energy market”.  CEDEC therefore welcomes that the Parliament recognizes the Member States’ right to take into account the characteristics of their national energy landscapes - with their current and future energy mix - by acknowledging the potential of technology-specific support schemes.

Positively for the vital sector of heating & cooling, the Parliament adapts the Commission’s proposals  that risk to make district heating & cooling projects economically inefficient. Disconnection rights for customers and third-party access shall not jeopardise existing and future investments, and shall be allowed only when economically and technically feasible.

Concerning the Energy Efficiency Directive, the European Parliament voted for a binding EU target of minimum 35 % in 2030, and for yearly savings quota of at least 1.5 % as well as some flexibilities for the Member States. “CEDEC backs the Parliament’s vote leaving Member States the choice between measures on primary energy or final energy consumption, with a focus on technical feasibility and cost-effectiveness.” underlined Mr De Block. With regard to the objectives, however, he stressed: "Given the agreement on binding measures and yearly savings quota for the Member States,  the question remains whether an additional binding EU target is needed."

The Parliament’s clear intention to strengthen the Commission targets has been formalised in the texts voted today. “We welcome the efforts made, but underline the need for further actions to integrate the electricity sector with gas, heating & cooling and transport, to overcome silo-thinking and to create synergies across sectors.” concluded Gert De Block.


CEDEC Background information

CEDEC represents the interests of more than 1500 local and regional energy companies, with a total turnover of €120 billion, serving 85 million electricity and gas customers & connections.

These predominantly small and medium-sized local and regional energy companies have developed activities as electricity and heat generators, electricity and natural gas distribution system operators (including metering & data management), and energy (services) suppliers.

The wide range of services provided by local utility companies is reliable, sustainable and close to the customer. Through their investments and the creation of local jobs, they make a significant contribution to local and regional economic development.

Press contact:   Gert De Block, Secretary General of CEDEC

gert.deblock@cedec.com / + 32 2 217 81 17