2018 has been an active year in European Union’s policy making and especially so for EU energy policy.

Energy Technologies Europe has been attentively following and shaping the policy debate by promoting the members’ expertise in innovative technologies that will accelerate Europe’s transition towards a decarbonised future.

In the face of upcoming European elections, the institutions have been working to finish key pieces of legislations before the upcoming changes of 2019. For European energy policy this meant the near finalisation of the Clean Energy Package, the finalisation of the revision of the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme and the publication of an EU energy and climate strategy just in time for the COP 24 in Katowice.

The Clean Energy Package

The Clean Energy Package – a set of legislations that cover the design of the electricity market, laws to promote energy efficiency and the uptake of renewables as well as the development of the Energy Union – is close to be completely finalised. Energy Technologies Europe has been following developments and actively assumed its role in shaping this massive package that will determine the framework for all activities in the European energy sector.

By conveying the messages of technology suppliers to policy makers, Energy Technologies Europe has been able to improve the legislative framework to ensure that Europe remains at the forefront of the development and implementation of innovative technologies that enable the energy transition and keep Europe competitive in the global market.

Revision of the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme

Even though the impact of the Clean Energy Package still needs to be seen, the effects of the revision of the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme for the period 2021-2030 have been visible immediately.

After the approval of the revisions in the beginning of 2018 the prices of emissions allowance surged. While the prices used to fluctuate around 7 EUR per tonne of CO2, in a few months the price reached the 15 EUR per tonne of CO2 and by the end of 2018 the price fluctuated around 25 EUR. This surge has generated renewed incentives for emissions abating technologies such as energy efficiency improvements and carbon capture.

The surge in emissions allowance prices visualised

Strategy for long-term greenhouse gas emissions reduction

While Clean Energy Package and the EU ETS have focused on the medium term, the European Commission’s Strategy on Long Term Greenhous Gas Emissions Reductions has been focused on the road towards mid-century and beyond. It gives a clear signal that the EU is aiming for at least 80% decarbonisation by 2050, and indicates that it has ambitions to become net neutral by midcentury. Energy Technologies Europe and its members provided the European Commission with the expertise on cutting edge technologies on the basis of which the European Commission could develop its vision as it currently stands.

In 2019 in the field of energy policy we will see the finalisation of the Clean Energy Package, but we will also see the start of a legislative package that will regulate the European gas markets and the development of funding mechanisms such as the Modernisation Fund, Innovation Fund and Horizon Europe. Supported by these mechanisms, our members will continue to contribute with technological developments that accelerate the decarbonisation of Europe and ensure the technological competitiveness of its economy.