The European Commission released today its assessment on Member States’ National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs). Solar Heat Europe welcomes this first step in a longer learning process which will require additional engagement from public authorities and stakeholders, at national and European level, in order to address the challenge of decarbonisation with the needed sense of urgency.
National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs) are a key instrument to set the path towards an integrated approach to the energy system that can contribute effectively to the EU climate and energy targets. In order to do so, it must reflect the needs at local, regional and national level, reflecting the urgency of energy transition, both at the decentralised level and utility scale. This is why the Commission published today its main recommendations for a revision, and improvement, of the first drafts of the plans.
NECPs are not just a top-down procedure, but a joint effort involving European institutions and local authorities, in a learning process which is still under development. Analysing the Commission’s recommendations, it is evident how, through this exercise, Member States are acquiring a deeper knowledge and understanding on different aspect of their energy systems, in particular heating and cooling, and are willing to plan accordingly their strategies to achieve the sustainable transition.
As representatives of the European solar thermal industry, we are confident that the part on renewable heating and cooling will be even further investigated and analysed. Measures addressing other relevant EU regulations are still missing, as for example art. 23 of RED II introducing renewable heat obligations or art.7 of EED on energy efficiencies obligations, which are closely interlinked with the aim and scope of the NECPs and should be therefore properly reflected in the plans.
Solar Heat Europe believes that a consistent approach to 2030 targets requires that no sector or technology should be overlooked in the plans, given that a mix of renewable energy-based solutions is more likely to deliver the expected results, in a competitive and fair manner. Several plans lack a strategic approach towards heating and cooling and targets are not ambitious enough to reach the decarbonisation of the sector in the next decade, since all heating systems installed by 2030 are likely to be still active (and polluting) in 2050.
NECPs are a unique opportunity to step up the ambition on climate and energy goals in Europe, and to clearly streamline how these targets and objectives will be reached. The recommendations published today set the first step in a longer process and Member States must now show political will and concrete progress in the achievement of these targets.
Learn more about our analysis on NECPs here
About Solar Heat Europe
Solar Heat Europe/ESTIF is the voice of the solar thermal industry, actively promoting the use of solar thermal technology for renewable heating and cooling in Europe. With around 50 members in Europe, Solar Heat Europe represents directly or indirectly over 90% of the industry across the value chain. Solar Heat Europe strives for the growth of solar heat solutions in Europe through different actions, such as advocating for better regulation or encouraging the EU policy makers to shape a fair context for renewable heating and cooling solutions. Find more information at http://solarheateurope.eu/
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