Summer Energy Package – the European Commission sees an important role for citizens in the energy transition
On Wednesday 15th July 2015 the European Commission published proposals on self-consumption and consumers that Cooperatives Europe and its renewable energy sector organisation REScoop.eu consider a good basis for getting citizens and their energy cooperatives at the center of the energy transition. In our view consumers (citizens, their cooperatives and other SME’s) need to play a more important role in delivering a fully functioning energy market to meet the 2030 EU climate and energy targets.
Cooperatives Europe and REScoop.eu welcome the overall tone of the ‘Summer Package’ on climate and energy. The documents are without doubt the strongest indication so far about the Commission’s vision for the transformation of Europe’s energy system and the role it sees for citizens, their cooperatives and other SME’s. In this Summer Package the Commission publishes three documents: A new deal for energy consumers, a Best Practices guidance document on how to produce your own renewable electricity and a text that launches the Public consultation on energy market design.
Dirk Vansintjan, President of the European Federation of renewable energy cooperatives, Rescoop.eu, says: “In this guidance document on self-consumption of renewable energy we read some good things. At the same time self-consumption is not just about putting some PV panels on the roof of a citizen. It is above all about what citizens all across Europe do together in a growing number of community energy initiatives (REScoops). That aspect still needs to be developed more by the EU Commission.”
Klaus Niederländer, Director of Cooperatives Europe, adds: “In the Consultation on the Electricity Market Design we will suggest to the EU Commission to broaden their view on what citizens and their REScoops can do already and their future growth potential to democratize the energy market, which belongs to all citizens. Among our national members we count more than 1,000 REScoops of which the majority has been supplying their members with electricity for almost or more than a century already. We will demonstrate to the EU Commission that the cooperative entrepreneurial approach is most suited for citizens and SME’s in the energy sector.”
Like other organizations focusing on citizens, such as Client Earth, Friends of the Earth Europe, ICLEI, Climate Alliance and Energy Cities, Cooperatives Europe and REScoop.eu expect that this is only the first step towards the development of a more coherent and supportive legal framework for community energy and other local actors, such as publicly-owned enterprises, throughout the EU’s energy policy. EU consumers want to and can be more engaged in energy efficiency improvement, production, distribution and supply of decentralised energy.