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T&D Europe welcomes Next Generation EU and the reinforced long-term budget

T&D Europe welcomes Next Generation EU and the reinforced long-term budget

Brussels, 28 May 2020

T&D Europe welcomes the European Commission’s proposals for Next Generation EU and the reinforced long-term budget for the EU, as presented yesterday. Europe’s grid technology providers support the EU Green Deal as Europe’s growth strategy, which is aimed at driving the green and digital transitions.

“Investments in Europe’s energy infrastructure need to be at the heart of Europe recovery and investment plans”, says T&D Europe President, Yann Fromont. He added: “Europe’s electricity system has proven its robustness and resilience during the COVID19-crisis and we need to make sure that the system is equipped to ensure further electrification of for example the transport and heating sectors, to integrate increasing shares of renewable energy, and empowering individual consumers and communities. This requires investments in both traditional assets and the further digitalisation of the energy system.”

T&D Europe calls for swift action to restore economic activity that will re-fill order books of companies in the entire value chain. This will help companies to maintain jobs and recover from the impact of the crisis. During the COVID-19 crisis the T&D sector, a provider of critical or essential equipment and services, continued to operate and supply transmission and distribution operators. However, in several countries the level of activity dramatically decreased due to the cancellation or postponement of projects. It is critical for the many companies in the sector to restore economic activity and avoid unnecessary delays.

As the three immediate priorities T&D Europe calls for :

1. Ensure credible budget allocations for sustainable/clean energy infrastructure investment

Credible budgets for energy infrastructure in general and electricity in particular are essential if the EU is serious about achieving climate-neutrality by 2050. In its long-term decarbonisation strategy, the Commission published 8 scenarios for achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The scenarios include average annual investments in the power grid of EUR59.2 billion for the 2021-2030 period, going up to between EUR 80 billion and EUR110 billion between 2031 and 2050[1]. Another study estimates that decarbonising the power sector well before 2050 requires on average over EUR 100 billion investments per year.

2. Swift EU decision-making and efficient application and award processes

The COVID-19 crisis has impacted Europe’s clean energy eco-system. While the Commission’s bold proposal and Parliament’s supportive welcome are a positive first step, it is critical to reach a final approval with Council swiftly, so that the attention can focus on making investments, placing orders and executing projects. This is important to mitigate as much as possible and as quickly as possible the economic impact of COVID-19 crisis. Moreover, the sooner the investments can be unlocked, the more time there is to get on to the track of climate-neutrality.

3. Front-load investment projects in the electrical grid

Addressing the green and digital transitions will require many projects across Europe. While new ones will emerge, existing and planned investment projects should be brought forward. We fully support the European Commission’s latest recommendations within the European Semester to “front-load mature public investment projects and promote private investment to foster the economic recovery. Focus investment on the green and digital transition, in particular on sustainable transport, clean and efficient production and use of energy, energy and digital infrastructures as well as research and innovation.”

T&D Europe looks forward to work with Parliament, Commission, Council, Member State Government, national regulatory authorities and with existing and new partners in the clean energy ecosystem to swiftly unlock the necessary investments.