On January 11, Members of the European Parliament’s Industry, Research and Energy Committee (ITRE) debated and voted a non-legislative draft report on how to boost clean energy innovation and make the energy system more efficient and affordable. The motion for a resolution was approved by 53 votes in favour, 3 votes against and 2 abstentions.
Polish MEP Jerzy Buzek noted that a stable market and the predictability and certainty of a regulatory framework, along with an ambitious and deliverable long-term policy vision are the prerequisites for “Accelerating Clean Energy Innovation”.
MEPs further called for an increased overall budget of at least €120 billion for FP9, saying that the financing for sustainable, low-emission energy projects should increase by at least 50% over and above the corresponding Horizon 2020 amounts, so as to ensure sufficient funding to support EU’s energy transition and the effective implementation of the Energy Union.
A greater coherence between the relevant funds, including structural funds, dedicated to clean energy projects would be necessary, said MEPs, expressing concern about the large number and complexity of existing financial instruments.
European citizens should gradually progress from awareness and understanding towards active involvement and empowerment in energy matters, said MEPs, calling on all parties to promote informed consumer choices and the engagement of citizens in energy-related matters through, inter alia: awareness campaigns, comprehensive and accessible information on energy bills and price comparison tools; the promotion of self-generation; demand-response and cooperative sharing schemes; participatory budgets and crowd-funding for energy-related investments, and tax and investment incentives.
In this respect, innovation can play an important role by enabling citizens to play a more active role in energy generation, including by feeding self-generated energy into the grid, and in contributing to a more efficient use of energy by reducing consumption at household level, thus decreasing both emissions and bills, MEPs added.
The plenary of the European Parliament will vote on the draft text and the final recommendations will feed into the future setup of the Energy Union.