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European Green Deal: T&D Europe proposes Flagship Initiative for Energy Infrastructure

 

This week the new European Commission under the Presidency of Urusla von der Leyen started its work. The first major policy initiative of the Commission is the European Green Deal, which is expected to see the light of day on the 11th of December. The European Green Deal is central to Mrs Von der Leyen's ambition to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050.

T&D Europe, the voice of Europe’s grid technology providers, welcomes the European Commission’s initiative for the development and implementation of a European Green Deal. We look forward to working with the European Parliament, Member States, the European Commission and all stakeholders to make a real step change.

As a proactive stakeholder T&D Europe has developed 12 recommendations for a Flagship Initiative for Energy Infrastructure to be included in the Green Deal. They contribute to an ambitious, pragmatic and effective approach that will help deliver a demonstrable positive impact on the life of all Europeans. This week T&D Europe has shared its proposal with the European Commission.

The European Green Deal must look at how we produce, transport, distribute and use energy. Electricity networks are the backbone of Europe’s energy system. Electricity has become an essential and critical resource of the daily life of Europeans. A temporary or prolonged disruption in our electricity supply touches virtually every part of our society and economy. Without electricity, everyday life is severily disrupted, creating massive impacts on essential services such as transportation, water and food supply, communications, security and health services. Therefore, the T&D Europe contribution focuses on proposals that support the modernization and future-proofing of Europe’s electricity networks.

The European Green Deal can help make tangible progress by focusing on three pillars:

1. Delivering on ambitious climate and energy objectives,

2. Promoting European technology sovereignty and leadership, and

3. Unlocking investments in Europe’s electricity networks.

 

T&D Europe has identified the following 12 key issues for the modernization and future-proofing of Europe’s electricity networks:

  1. Swift and correct implementation and enforcement of the Clean Energy Package in Member States, by increasing transparency through the provisions of the EU Electricity Directive on assessing, monitoring and future-proofing the electricity grid;

  2. Review the investment framework for network operators by removing the current regulatory CAPEX bias and transition to a TOTEX approach, to incentivize the uptake of green technologies and solutions, which contributes to a cost-efficient operation of the network;

  3. Provide system operators regulatory certainty that investments can be recovered via the network tariff and that the remuneration will remain at a predictable and market-based level;

  4. Modernise the energy taxation regime to accelerate the shift towards decarbonizing electricity consumption and the increased uptake of clean electricity in end-use sectors, inter alia, in heating, electric vehicles and shore-side electrification;

  5. Analyse and implement the best way to transform demonstration projects in large-scale industrial investment and deployment, thereby enabling Europe to turn innovation into employment and leadership;

  6. Strengthen market surveillance enforcement to ensure that all grid technology on the EU market complies with the mandatory circular economy and energy efficiency criteria;

  7. Encouraging an education environment that promotes the training of high-skilled workforce in the field of electrical engineering and green technologies related sectors;

  8. Prioritise infrastructure investment in modernizing and future-proofing Europe’s electricity networks, inter alia, through the inclusion in the National Energy and Climate Plan of clear investment and development plans for the electricity network;

  9. Closely link the European Investment Bank lending policy for infrastructure to the Clean energy package objectives and the EU long-term decarbonisation strategy.

  10. Track investments in transmission and distribution networks as part of the annual State of the Energy Union;

  11. Mainstream clean and direct electrification in the heating & cooling and transport sectors, as the most cost-effective and energy efficient strategy to address climate change and enhance the quality of life of all Europeans. Deploy without delay the technologies that are already available to decarbonise industrial processes, transport and the heating & cooling sector;

  12. Adopting EU or international rules for ownership, protection, liability and transfer of all data types (not just smart meter) in energy markets and grid operation.