Today EGEC sent a letter to Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President for the Green Deal, and Kadri Simson, Commissioner for Energy, requesting that the Green Recovery Plan includes investment in all renewable energy sectors.
Dear Executive Vice-President Timmermans, Dear Commissioner Simson,
We thank you for your work on keeping the climate crisis and energy transition central to the COVID-19 Green Recovery package.
The draft Green Recovery plan requires a few minor changes to make it relevant to all renewable energy technologies, all Member States and citizens, as well as becoming the global benchmark for an inclusive, effective green recovery that can be replicated by all signatories to the Paris Agreement.
Geothermal energy provides renewable heating, cooling and baseload electricity. It is renewable, available everywhere and, importantly, cost deflationary once it has access to markets.
The Green Deal must trigger investment in all renewable energy sectors. The current lack of security of investment is hampering jobs creation in the green economy, especially for SMEs.
The proposed EU tender scheme mechanism is confined to renewable electricity. It must be extended to all renewables, especially those related to heating and cooling especially due to the strong link between heating and fuel poverty and because, it these times of hardship, reductions on household fuel bills and energy costs for industry are crucial to all EU citizens. The scheme should be expanded, tendering 15GW of renewable electricity and an additional 15 GW of renewable heating and cooling.
With respect to electricity, the tendering criteria needs to include requirements for the availability of renewable energy solutions by mandating a portfolio of technologies to be deployed which minimise system costs with flexible and dispatchable renewable generation. This is the approach taken by countries such as Chile which allow for all forms of renewables to compete to provide different services, for a more cost-efficient and resilient energy system.
The proposed Green Infrastructure Fund for renewables must prioritise the deployment of renewable heating and cooling infrastructure because this sector accounts for half of the energy used in the EU.
Specific attention should be given to upgrading geothermal district heating systems in the proposed Recovery and Convergence Instrument and the European Renovation Financing Facility.
Countries such as Austria, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania, for example, sit atop of vast transnational geothermal heat reservoirs. Geothermal district heating systems remove the main political resistance particularly as this solution has proven to bring down household energy bills. ADEME, the French environment agency, found the levelized cost of heat from geothermal district heating was as low as €15 per MWh compared to €51 from gas heating. More than 25% of the EU’s population resides in areas directly suitable for geothermal district heating. Your support now would be the most successful climate, energy and economic stimulus for so many EU citizens.
We look forward to working with you to ensure the green recovery package is a success.
With my very best wishes,
Secretary General, EGEC