The Energy Community Ministerial Council adopted the Clean Energy Package, the Decarbonization Roadmap for the Contracting Parties and the Gas Security of Supply Regulation. The targets for renewables, energy efficiency and emissions for 2030 will be on the table at the meeting next year.
Outgoing Energy Community Secretariat Director Janez Kopač said after the meeting of the Ministerial Council in Belgrade that it had the biggest agenda since the organization was created. He revealed that there was no discussion about sanctions for the contracting parties that were in breach of the rules.
The ministers responsible for energy in the Energy Community contracting parties endorsed five key legislative acts from the European Union’s Clean Energy for all Europeans package. It covers energy efficiency, renewables, governance, electricity market design and electricity security of supply rules. The governments need to align domestic legislation with the package.
The EU’s Clean Energy Package covers energy efficiency, renewables, governance, electricity market design and electricity security of supply rules
Renewables, energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction targets for 2030 will be adopted at the next Ministerial Council in 2022, following the finalization of a study by the European Commission.
The package establishes a stable regulatory and market framework to stimulate the necessary public and private investments and modernized rules to unlock new business opportunities, said Deputy Director-General for Energy at the European Commission Mechthild Wörsdörfer.
The measures will protect vulnerable consumers, tackle energy poverty and empower consumers to participate in the energy transition, she added. The adoption of the Clean Energy Package is a step in the creation of a pan-European energy market, Wörsdörfer underscored.
Contracting parties are obliged to pass legislation by 2025 to roll out carbon pricing scheme
The council also adopted the Decarbonisation Roadmap for the Contracting Parties of the Energy Community, a political document outlining the sequence of adoption, transposition and implementation of decarbonization-focused rules in order to put the contracting parties on a path towards achieving 2030 and mid-century decarbonization targets.
Kopač explained the most important element is the trading mechanism for carbon dioxide emissions, which should be on the agenda in 2025. It implies the contracting parties should adopt the necessary regulations by then, in his words.
The Decarbonisation Roadmap is turning the organization into an energy and climate community, Kopač stressed.
Mihajlović: Climate, environment are crucial for energy sector
“Today’s energy package will boost the clean energy transition and modernize our energy systems as well as our economies,” Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Mining and Energy of Serbia Zorana Mihajlović said.
“The new legislative acts will help the Energy Community to gradually transition away from fossil fuels and contribute to the achievement of a carbon-neutral Europe by 2050. It’s important that cutting emissions does not result in cutting jobs and this package will help us achieve that by unlocking opportunities of the clean energy revolution.”
Mihajlović pointed to climate as one of the most important challenges in energy and added the sector is inseparable from environmental protection. The minister said Serbia must develop renewable energy projects to gradually replace coal power plants and noted that state-owned electricity utility Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS) hasn’t built a single facility in the past thirty years.
Clean Energy Package
The new Renewables Directive will introduce rules on support schemes and measures to tackle administrative barriers. It strengthens the sustainability criteria for biofuels and bioliquids and extends them to biomass fuels and sets an indicative target for increasing the use of renewables in heating and cooling sector. It also empowers consumers, introducing the concept of renewable self-consumption and energy communities.
The directive places an effective ban on offering feed-in tariffs, Kopač said and added Serbia already abolished them this year. The act enables the introduction of stimulative mechanisms for renewable energy.
The Energy Efficiency Directive brings a target for energy savings of 0.8% every year
The new Energy Efficiency Directive sets stronger measures for buildings renovation and savings in end-use sectors, as well as rules on metering and billing of thermal energy, especially with respect to multi-apartment and multi-purpose buildings. The contracting parties will be required to renovate each year at least 3% of the total floor area of buildings over 250 square meters owned and occupied by the central government.
Under the energy savings obligation, they will be required to achieve annual energy savings of at least 0.8% in end-use sectors such as buildings, industry and transport. Kopač said the target is “huge” and that the directive would enter into force in 2024.
The Governance Regulation, the third part of the package, sets rules for planning, reporting and monitoring on energy and climate policies and targets. The contracting parties will be required to submit national energy and climate plans.
The Clean Energy Package helps prosumers and electricity buyers
The Electricity Directive and Risk Preparedness Regulation will put in place a flexible and market-based electricity market design to facilitate the integration of a greater share of renewables and help prosumers, the secretariat said.
Kopač highlighted the importance of the Electricity Directive, saying it offers many more possibilities and authority to buyers of electricity. Serbia already transposed some of the rules this year with its Law on the Electricity Market, he said.
In addition, the Ministerial Council adopted the Gas Security of Supply Regulation, with a uniform legal and regulatory framework in the contracting parties, comparable to that in the EU.
The Energy Community brings together the EU and neighbouring countries to create an integrated pan-European energy market.