The EU energy market of the future: cooperative recommendations
Friday, 23 October 2015 - 4pm
Cooperatives Europe in partnership with Cera organised its second Coop Break ‘Light my fire – The energy transition, an opportunity for cooperative energy-production' on 22nd October 2015 in Brussels. The event focused on the energy transition and the opportunity it represents for energy cooperatives.
Dirk Vansintjan, president of REScoop.EU, the European Federation of Renewable Energy Sources COOPeratives, presented the challenges that REScoops are facing in some EU countries and at the European level in general. He also explained REScoop recommendations to policy makers and citizens in Europe making a passionate call to take action as the energy transition has been driven so far by citizens.
Marie Donnelly, Director at DG Energy – European Commission, expressed the Commission’s support for a future EU energy market which is more decentralised, which puts renewable energies at the centre and capitalises on the involvement of citizens. She advocated for a holistic energy system as energy has moved from a commodity to becoming a service. A change process is under way and renewable energy cooperatives need to be fit into the new future EU energy market. She laid out some key features of the future energy market design with focus on demand response, flexibility, valued storage capacity and clear roles and responsibilities of the different market players.
In closing the event, Klaus Niederländer, Director at Cooperatives Europe, provided some key cooperative features that the future EU energy market requirer going beyond the current more quantitative efficiency and effectiveness guidelines and principles:
- The future EU energy market should reflect the principles and rules of democratic societies ie. equitable and transparent economic participation by all European citizens through democratically governed and jointly owned energy markets and organisations.
- Renewable energy sources need to be regulated as common goods, which cannot be owned by anyone, but used by all.
- The EU energy market should put energy production, storage and usage of renewable energy in the hands of citizens through self-consumption; and this not only for individual citizens, but also for cooperatives and groups of citizens.
- Finally, energy distribution in general should be not-for-profit with the distribution and transmission organisations being democratically controlled.