Call a spade a spade!

Here it is, the New Year. For renewables, energy efficiency and system change, 2016 will again be an important year towards a modern, refreshed, job-creating and sustainable European energy world.

The Commission has issued or just finalised important consultations on energy market design, on the important elements for a new Renewable Energy Directive, et al, and has come back from Cop 21 in Paris at least with some ambition.

For the past 15 years, EREF has been the voice of independent power producers in Brussels, representing an increasingly wide range and number of renewable industry associations from most of the European Member States.

This year, once more, we will use the debates on Parliaments’ own initiative reports and on the various packages to be put forward by the EU Commission to provide background information; food for thought; and clear options from our point of view.

We will continue to be practical and open and strive to inform the media, the European and national parliaments, industry and stakeholders about various topics of crucial importance on the European and national stages.

We need to think more European but we also need to introduce more knowledge about what is going on in the Member States and at the local level. How do hidden agendas influence open discussion and cripple more ambitious energy policies? How can neighbours help each other rather than block energy flow? Why is cost clarity important and which steps must be taken to ensure it?

Globally I think it is time that the world sees fewer signs of a fatigued, uncreative and reactive Europe and more indicators of a Union which kindles – once more – interest and sympathy, which generates good ideas and exports them, especially in energy.

In 2016, we launch EREF’s information series on topics of the EU Energy Union “Call a spade a spade!”. We start with our view on capacity markets, followed by what you always wanted to know about what is going on for renewables in the United Kingdom. We would like to talk to you about the famous grid security, balancing and who pays for what. Intraday is not a dating agency but a necessary backbone for smooth energy transition. We will look, from our point of view, into the EU’s intended contribution and implementation path to reduce emissions by at least 40% by 2030. We will determine whether the path is ensuring that Europe gets back on track in renewables and fulfils President Juncker’s promise of Europe being Number 1 in Renewables or whether Europe displays “The Emperor new Clothes” instead. The interconnection needs will cover another edition of “call a spade a spade” and so forth…

Dörte Fouquet