Orgalim at EUSEW: Reshaping the European energy system
26 October 2021
In the face of surging energy prices and to combat climate change, "the best response is to accelerate the clean energy transition that Europe has embarked on," said Rada Rodriguez, Orgalim President and EUSEW Ambassador at EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) 2021 yesterday.
Speaking on the opening day of the policy conference, in a panel with other EUSEW ambassadors moderated by Cristina Lobillo Borrero, Director, Directorate-General for Energy at the European Commission, Ms Rodriguez highlighted a number of Orgalim recommendations for speeding up the transformation of an energy sector that still accounts for 75% of EU greenhouse gas emissions. Among them:
Reduce taxes on electricity. Currently, electricity in many countries is taxed higher than other forms of energy, and the ongoing revision of the Energy Taxation Directive is a welcome opportunity to rectify this, she noted.
Improve energy efficiency. The cheapest energy is energy which is not consumed, and buildings can play a crucial role in energy savings, which is why Orgalim has called for a higher renovation rate in its position paper on the Energy Efficiency Directive. Agreeing with fellow ambassadors MEP Ville Niinistö and Mayor of Warsaw Rafal Trzaskowski, Ms Rodriguez also emphasised the need to break existing silos and reduce waste heat from industry and data centres, for example, by redirecting it to district heating.
Unlock demand side flexibility. To get the citizens involved in this journey, we need to make sure that we are supporting the consumer business model through energy sharing or other cooperative models and also that we incentivise the market to participate and provide flexible services. As Orgalim noted in a recent EUSEW blog article, "activating flexible buildings in distribution systems across the EU could help save €5 billion per year up to 2030 by avoiding investments to reinforce the grid and costs for back up generation and fuel".
Today we still see silos between the different sectors and breaking these silos is extremely important if we want to have a more integrated energy system and achieve this transition also in a cost effective way.
Mayor Trzaskowski meanwhile shared valuable insights from Warsaw’s green city action plan and roadmap towards climate neutrality by 2050 and MEP Niinistö highlighted Finland’s success in moving many areas towards carbon neutrality through district heating projects. Valeria Duflot, Co-founder of Venezia Autentica, also emphasised the need to rapidly eliminate unnecessary energy waste.
Summing up, Ms Borrero returned to the key message also conveyed by Ms Rodriguez: "If we want to provide a solution to increasing energy prices and to tackle climate change, there is only one solution: we need to speed up the green transition". As she said, "this is not only a task for the three European institutions, we need the stakeholders and European citizens too".
Orgalim's complete positions and recommendations on the revision of Energy Taxation Directive, the Energy Efficiency Directive, the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive and other related regulatory dossiers can be found here.
If you missed yesterday’s panel discussion, you can view it in full here.