EU energy policy – 4th time lucky?
The European Commission has tabled a mega-package of legislative proposals to complete its blueprint for Europe’s Energy Union. Billed as “the biggest transformation of Europe’s energy system since the building of its centralised energy system a century ago”, the draft legislation aims to accelerate decarbonisation by adapting the electricity market to decentralised and intermittent renewables, and progressive Europeanisation of the sector via a shift from national to regional focus in regulation, renewable payments and back-up systems. It is but a milestone on the long road to any real energy union, and still falls short of that project’s ultimate objectives. But its timing is fortuitous in the fight against climate change, coming as a reminder to President-elect Donald Trump of the undiminished clean energy ambitions of America’s European partners, and possibly in time to reach the EU statute book before the UK’s likely exit from the Union in 2019.