Published: Mon, 16 January 2017
“Energy prices across the EU have gone up around 6 percent since 2008, so I welcome a new package of measures from the European Commission which have the potential to bring “significant cost-savings to households down the line”, according to MEP for Ireland South and leader of Fine Gael in the European Parliament, Seán Kelly.
Mr. Kelly, Ireland’s only full member of the Parliament’s Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) Committee, said the proposals seemed ambitious enough to bring about a reduction in energy bills for consumers, increase the amount of renewables on the grid, increase security of energy supply, while also meeting EU-wide emissions targets to combat the threat of climate change.
Mr Kelly and his fellow MEPs will analyse the details of the new energy proposals in 2017, including new rules for the functioning of the EU electricity market, revised legislation on Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy and Energy Performance of Buildings, and plans to mobilise increased investment to meet the goals set out in each.
“It is crucial that we increase the amount of renewables in our energy mix in the coming years. For this reason, I welcome redesigning of the electricity market to make it more renewables-friendly, along with the revision of the renewable energy directive.
“I’m also pleased with the ambition the Commission has shown on the revision of the Energy Efficiency Directive. Raising the target from the originally proposed 27% up to 30% for energy efficiency is appropriate given the coming into force of the Paris Climate Change Agreement.
“Buildings are responsible for 40% of our energy consumption in the EU and 75% of the building stock is inefficient – that is a huge amount of wasted energy and an unacceptable level of avoidable emissions. Efficient homes mean less energy consumption, lower bills and a lower carbon footprint; it is a true no-brainer and I look forward to working on the proposal in the coming months.
Mr Kelly noted that it would be important to mobilise the investment needed to make these improvements, such as through the new initiative to unlock €10 billion in public and private funding for energy efficiency and renewable energy in buildings.
The MEP also welcomed proposed requirements for large buildings to provide recharging points for Electric Vehicles: “The transport sector represents around a quarter of our Greenhouse gas emissions in the EU and so increasing the amount of Electric Vehicles on the road will have a significant role to play in decarbonising the transport sector”.