The community energy movement has recently received an important boost. New EU legislation on renewable energy gives communities and individuals the right to generate, store, consume and sell their own energy.
These community energy rights could be transformational for the fossil-free energy system we need to build. But these rights must now be laid down in national laws, to take effect.
Opinion article by Susann Scherbarth of Friends of the Earth Europe, and Sean Sweeney of Trade Unions for Energy Democracy. First appeared on OpenDemocracy.
A new horizon is opening for energy ownership and democracy in Europe. After a five-year-long campaign for community energy, pioneered by Friends of the Earth Europe, communities and households have won new EU rights to generate, consume and sell their own renewable energy.
Today's stark Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on the impacts of 1.5°C of global warming shows Europe's addiction to fossil fuels must come to an end, according to Friends of the Earth Europe.
Jagoda Munić, Director of Friends of the Earth Europe said:
Today – on a global day of action to end poverty, reduce inequalities, and tackle climate change – a coalition of civil society organisations has launched a manifesto with core demands for the political leadership of the EU and the candidates in the 2019 European Elections.
But citizens will surpass bleak expectations of new target.
EU decision makers have concluded an inadequate deal to govern Europe’s future renewable energy to 2030, according to Friends of the Earth Europe. However, citizens and communities have won new rights to generate renewable energy that could prove transformative.
The EU Council, Parliament and Climate Commissioner Cañete concluded a year and a half of negotiations on new EU renewable energy rules that include:
Technology now available makes a 100% renewable energy system viable, according to an ‘Energy Atlas’ published by Friends of the Earth Europe, the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, the European Renewable Energies Federation (EREF), and the Green European Foundation.
Members of the EU Parliament’s energy committee have supported reform of energy markets to restrict subsidies for dirty fossil fuel power plants, but failed to reject new gas infrastructure, in two important votes on climate and energy today.
The European Parliament today voted its position on EU energy goals for 2030, backing out of the level of action needed to combat climate change.
MEPs voted on three files of the ‘Clean Energy Package’ of climate legislation for the next crucial decade for climate action. The positions adopted today will now be taken forward into negotiations with EU governments.