Industry urges EU to boost self-consumption

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As the legislative institutions of the EU are reviewing the Renewable Energy Directive for 2030 (RED), corporations from the energy and chemical industry have addressed an open letter urging all parties to the negotiations to improve regulations for industrial self-consumption of renewable energy resources.

According to the signatories, renewable energy self-consumption bears great potential to support member states in their goal to increase their respective share of renewables in the energy mix. The corporations cite that just the European-based RE100 companies – a band of companies joining to commit to 100% renewable energy consumption by 2030 – will require the development of an additional 67 TWh.

In their demands, the companies state the current negotiations of Article 21 of REDII should take a direction whereby the development of renewable energy project for self-consumptions is fostered through projects which have no negative impact due indirect land use change.

Furthermore, the EU is supposed to set in place legislation that allows innovative business models, such as leasing, third party ownership, collective self-consumption, renewable power purchase agreements and the installation of direct power lines within commercial and industrial areas.

Lastly, the companies urge the policy makers to take under consideration that adequate financing mechanisms must be in place for systems costs to be offset in the long run.

The current negotiations on the revamp of the RED, are the final step after a long legislative process in which the three institutions of the EU were involved. The representatives of the parliament, council and commission have been meeting for the Trialogue negotiations, following the support of the review of the directive to varying degrees.

In January this year the European Parliament passed its backing of a 35% renewable energy target by 2030 and among other points supported the scrapping of punitive charges levies and taxes for self-produced and consumed energy.

“Unlike governments across Europe that are blocking communities from phasing out dangerous coal and nuclear in favour of renewables, the Parliament strongly backs citizens’ rights to harvest and sell their own energy from sun and wind,” said Sebastian Mang, Greenpeace EU energy policy adviser.

Facing strong headwind from some governments in the European Union the Council passed agreed on a less ambitious 27% renewable energy share goal as their official negotiation position, December. With regards to the renewable energy self-consumption Aurélie Beauvais, Policy Director of SolarPower Europe, said: “We are very pleased that the Council highlights the need to reflect the specificity of small scale RES projects in the design of support schemes. The Council has also acknowledged that it is technically and economically challenging for small investors to participate in competitive bidding procedures and to directly sell their electricity on the market”, in an announcement related to the passing of the negotiation position in December.

Positions from all three bodies then were generally supportive of self-consumption schemes. The extend to which such schemes can be enjoyed throughout the EU by industrial scale producers as well as households will be clarified during the ongoing negotiations.