The European Commission announced a ‘Renovation Wave’ to work alongside Member States in delivering energy efficiency improvements in public and private buildings. This is a start. But it is still a long way from what is required. EGEC Geothermal proposes three simple steps to institutionalise ownership, management and delivery of the systematic removal of fossil fuels in all types of buildings so that the sector is compatible with the Paris Agreement long before 2050.
The European Union is looking to engage a deep decarbonisation of the economy, which obliges looking at synergies between sectors to make the best out of the renewable energy installed. The geothermal sector stands at the crossroad of such smart energy systems, and EGEC is putting forward proposals on what should be done for this process to be implemented successfully.
The European Commission did a public consultation about its planned Climate Law. The Climate Law is one of the main political committment of the President of the European Commission for the EU to deliver on the compliance of the Paris Agreement.
As part of the Decarbheat initiative, which gathers several heating and cooling industry associations with the objective to advocate for European policies that are in line with the decarbonisation of the heating and cooling sector, EGEC co-signed a press release on the topic of the European Green Deal.
The European renewable industries welcome the decision by President Elect of the Commission von der Leyen to enshrine the objective of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 into EU law.
The European Investment Bank is the largest public development bank, providing financing to a wide array of projects, notably in the energy sector. Yesterday, the EIB reached an agreement that it would stop providing funding to fossil fuel projects from 2022 owards. This development is a crucial step towards the redirection of financing to the energy transition, although the Energy Lending Policy adopted by the Bank are not quite on par with EGEC's expection. Indeed, as the largest public development bank, the EIB has an outsized impact on the allocation of financing to the energy sector, and as such it represents a model to follow for other financial institutions. The Bank has for instance previously been a pioneer in setting criteria that discriminate against financing coal projects, a stance now taken by many major financial institutions. The updated Energy Lending Policy constitute a template for other public and private financial institutions to also ban lending to fossil fuel projects. EGEC was very active in promoting such a shift in the EIB's lending activities in the energy sector, and was advocating for a ban on fossil fuel lending from 2020. EGEC notably co-signed several statements to that end, in particular with the renewable energy industry. However, the decision to stop funding from 2022 - while it will still induce the development of likely stranded fossil fuel assets, or locking in new fossil fuel emissions - does still represent a crucial step in reshaping the energy sector. Some further caution about the updated energy lending policy should also be applied, considering the existence of several loopholes in the policy. Further information will follow for EGEC members.
The European Investment Bank is currently in the process of drafting its updated energy lending policy. As the European Union is progressing towards decarbonisation, and the 2050 horizon is nearing quickly, EGEC joined other industry associations and think tanks to call for the EIB to promptly stop funding fossil fuel projects.
Sustainable finance is an increasingly important topic in European policy making. A proposed regulation by the European Commission on this topic will have a major impact on the private financial sector, and its relationship with geothermal and other renewable energy investments.
One of the key issues of the current debate on the next European Commission regards the priorities that should shape its action over the next five years, the matter of ambition for the energy transition is at the foreground.
In the process of the implementation of the Governance Regulation, which defines how the EU targets on climate and energy will be achieved by 2030, Member States have submitted draft National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs), in which they outline the level of ambition they would pursue in the coming decade, and the policies measure that should enable it.