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CoR plenary adopts Gryffroy's opinion on the Renewable Energy Directive
On 28 April, the CoR Plenary adopted by an overwhelming majority the opinion of Andries Gryffroy on the Renewable Energy Directive Revision. The European Parliament Rapporteur Markus Pieper also took part in the debate.
The opinion welcomes the revisions of the new Directive and highlights that renewable energy production at the local level is crucial to secure energy independence and keep our global climate commitments.
At the same time the rapporteur points out that we still lack further incentives for the setting up of renewable energy communities and we must also keep facilitating permitting, reducing administrative barriers and factors inhibiting grid access in order to incentivize collective self-generation and self-consumption of sources of renewable energies.
"We need to take resolute action to ensure greater diversification of our energy supply and ramp up our investments in renewable to enhance energy independence. We call on the European Commission to make rapidly a proposal to assess the feasibility of a higher renewable energy target, subject to a detailed impact assessment, taking into account the asymmetric territorial impact in different regions, and carried out in consultation with the Committee of the Regions.
In the presentation of the opinion, Mr Gryffroy, who is also a member of the Flemish Parliament, stressed that EU territories are different so is their potential to produce energy from renewables. Hence legislation should take into account the specificities of each Member States and region, their different starting points, favouring a bottom-up approach rather than a top-down.
The CoR, similarly to European Parliament, calls for more ambition on cross border energy projects on renewables around bordering regions and across sea basins. "We need more cross border cooperation on renewable energy projects, compared to the proposal of the European Commission, and improve interconnections to achieve an integrated, decarbonised and decentralised energy system. Those projects should be added to those already planned under the TENE Framework. We want to see the role of regions recognised that they are further supported to cooperate across borders, and we are glad to see the European Parliament draft report acknowledges the importance of local and regional levels".
The amendments to the Directive proposed by the Committee of the Regions, aim at making it easier to integrate renewables into the grid and to set up local renewable energy communities while enabling local innovation, promoting circularity models and encouraging the development of a clean hydrogen market.
Mr Gryffroy added that "it is necessary to be open and inclusive towards all technologies and safeguard the principle of technological neutrality in order to achieve climate neutrality and decarbonize our economy in a cost-efficient manner, and at the lowest social and economic costs".