Analyze the local and regional needs for the implementation of concrete policy and legislative measures at EU level to shape a new integrated energy system, while respecting the different starting points that Member States, regions and cities have.
Highlight how energy system integration – coordinated planning and operation of energy systems of several energy carriers, infrastructure and consumption sectors – is a pathway to effective, accessible and thorough decarbonisation of the European economy, in accordance with the Paris Agreement and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Include the strategy in the economic recovery of local and regional authorities, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, since energy efficiency reduces total investment and costs needed in relation to energy production, infrastructure and consumption.
Study how energy system integration can help local and regional authorities achieve greater energy efficiency as the available resources would be used for the transition to more efficient energy technologies.
Make sure regional disparities are taken into account in national and EU planning documents when integrating the EU's energy system.
Investigate funding opportunities for local and regional authorities for energy system integration.
Include socio-economic issues in the sectoral integration, like energy poverty
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
- stresses that the current crisis highlights the need to ensure continuity of energy and electricity supply in every European region, including in situations where global supply chains may be disrupted;
- notes that the European Union currently imports 58% of the energy it needs, mostly in the form of oil and gas. The clean energy transition will reduce the EU's dependence on fossil fuels and import thereof. The EU Strategy for Energy System Integration will contribute to this process and to meeting the energy and climate targets. Moving towards cleaner energy carriers, as well as adopting efficient energy use measures, the EU as a whole will consume less energy, increase the number of energy producers via tools to facilitate self-consumption and the creation of energy communities, use local renewable resources to a greater extent and gradually diversify energy imports. Energy savings, diversification and local energy production will help make Europe's economy more resilient and reduce dependence on external sources;
- welcomes the Commission's view that the proposed scale of the EU Strategy to harness the potential of offshore renewable energy for a climate neutral future can only be achieved if all stakeholders – Member States, local and regional authorities, the EU population, social partners and NGOs – work together; stresses that, in order to ensure continued and increasing progress in the field of offshore renewable energy, legal certainty and clarity must be ensured, as investments are generally highly capital intensive, especially in the early stages of a project;
- notes that according to the EU strategy to reduce methane emissions, the EU accounts for only 5% of global methane emissions. Imports of goods into the EU's single market should only be allowed from countries (or parts thereof) that provide the same standards for greenhouse gas reduction as the EU. Only in this way will it be possible to ensure that the climate targets set by the EU will not adversely affect the competitiveness of the EU and its businesses at global level.