As Europe’s multi energy companies ventilate their frustration about Europe’s patchwork of non-coherent national incentives and tariffs at the WEF in Davos in view of the 93% rise in electricity consumption and accompanying $ 17 trillion need for  investments in the next 20 years, the EU Commission presented its plans for Energy 2030, derailing its 20-20-20 targets towards 2030. Eurelectric, the European organisations of energy companies, welcomed the Communication as president Secretary General Hans ten Berge commented: “The current 20/20/20 package has resulted in significant carbon emissions reductions, and has led to further growth, cost reductions and technological development in both renewable generation and energy efficiency. However, it has also resulted in a regulatory jungle of multiple and overlapping targets and instruments. This has had negative impacts on cost-effectiveness.

However climate activists lamented the only 40% reduction of CO2 instead of the 50% needed according to IPCC calculations and renewable advocates protested the abandoning of national targets: “Just five years ago, the Commission sent the signal to investors that renewable energy was to be the  future for Europe. Now, the Commission is acting in reverse-mode, setting a cap for renewables, not a  target for 2030”, said Rainer Hinrichs-Rahlwes, president of the European Renewable Energy Council .

The EC Communiciation abandoned national renewable targets and is accompanied by a legislative proposal for a market stability reserve for the EU emissions trading system (EU ETS) starting in 2021. A report on energy prices and costs in Europe, published alongside the Communication, suggests that the rising energy prices can be partly mitigated by ensuring cost effective energy and climate policies, competitive energy markets and improved energy efficiency.
In view of the absence of national targets as in the EU 20-20-20 framework,  the Commission proposes a new 2030 governance framework based on national plans for competitive, secure and sustainable energy. Based on upcoming guidance by the Commission, these plans will be prepared by the Member States under a common approach. An iterative process between the Commission and Member States will ensure the plans are sufficiently ambitious, as well as their consistency and compliance over time.
The EHA is currently comparing notes with other organisations to study the effect of these measures on hydrogen infrastructure build up and will support its national member associations to ensure the right input into these national plans.