To contribute towards the message of the CoR in the context of key on-going energy market policy initiatives in the EU, notably the situation of local and regional sustainable energy investment context in the context of the current energy market liberalisation process
Further to intense contacts with the EP rapporteur and shadow rapporteurs, a number of CoR initiated amendments have been included in the EP resolution, notably taken on board by ITRE through its vote on 20 June as a result of the previous contacts with the CoR rapporteur:
• emphasis on the fact that large-scale investments should be made in parallel to investments in regional or even local networks, as energy generation increasingly takes place at regional/local level;
• crucial importance assigned to the requirement that agreements on unbundling of transmission networks and production and delivery are respected across the EU, including the agreements on the independent position of energy regulators and requirements on consumer protection; stresses therefore the necessity to support and further develop the role of the ACER, particularly its capacity to scrutinise national regulatory decisions and settle disputes;
• a joint CoR and EP call for cooperation in the development of smart grids at European, national and regional level and the development of European standards for smart grids;
• emphasis on the streamlining of authorisation procedures within the Member States will contribute to the development of infrastructure networks and unlocking investments; stresses that local and regional authorities should play an important role in this respect by simplifying planning procedures and integrating energy infrastructure in their local and regional planning schemes.
THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
- is firmly convinced that small-scale energy producers should have easy access to energy networks/smart grids. Sound rules should be developed, by means of which households and small producers are encouraged to invest in micro-production of energy, for the entrance of these new suppliers to the networks;
- doubts whether the proposed EC measures are satisfactory to empower consumers and to combat energy poverty and demands special focus to be given to the protection of consumers. In this respect, attention is required for the asymmetrical position of energy users vis-à-vis huge companies;
- calls on authorities to address the issue of incentives for the right market investments in generation, transmission, storage and supply/demand balancing facilities and recommends that, next to existing programmes (EEPR, the Connecting Europe Facility, EU Cohesion Policy, TEN-T programme, Horizon 2020), new means of financing for the realisation of infrastructure should be sought for;
- strongly supports the urgent need for the modernisation of existing grids and developing smart grids, and endorses cooperation in the development of smart grids at European, national and regional level and the development of European standards for smart grids;
- emphasises transparency and the participation of citizens and communities in grid planning, development and implementation.