Engerati Week in Smart Energy
European Energy Union
From left: European Commissioner for Energy Union Maros Secovic and EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete give a press conference in support of a European Energy Union

In our commentary on the proposed European Energy Union, we questioned the apparent loss of authority to member states over national policy making.

This point has now been taken up with a firm reassertion of such authority, writes Jonathan Spencer-Jones, consulting editor at Engerati, the sister portal to Metering.com focusing on smart energy. [Engerati’s Week In Energy – Is Europe’s Energy Union The Way To Go?]

In the conclusions of last week’s European Council meeting [European Council: European Council meeting conclusions, 19-20 March 2015] member states expressed their support for the formation of the Union, and called for the development of a more effective, flexible market design which should go together with enhanced regional cooperation, including with neighbouring countries, and help integrate renewables.

However, public intervention should be compatible with the internal market and the right of member states to decide on their own energy mix should be respected, they said. This will help provide affordable energy to households and industry.

This makes complete sense as when it comes to renewables in particular, the different countries have different levels of potential for the various resources. However, it is unlikely to be the only energy policy area that member states will wish to retain authority over. Regional targets for example for energy efficiency and emissions reduction are all well and good but by their nature they don’t also need to translate automatically into national targets.

For the record, other Energy Union aspects called for in the conclusions include an acceleration of infrastructure projects, including interconnections; assessment of options for voluntary demand aggregation mechanisms; full implementation of existing energy legislation and development of further legislation on energy efficiency and renewables to underpin the 2030 targets; and development of an energy and climate-related technology and innovation strategy on next generation renewables, electricity storage, carbon capture and storage, improving energy efficiency in the housing sector, etc.

More from Engerati

Integrated Approach Develops Smarter Cities

A move to smarter cities needs an action plan – and that’s where the University of Strathclyde’s STEP UP programme comes in, says project coordinator and director of the University’s Institute for Future Cities, Richard Bellingham. STEP UP (short for Strategies Towards Energy Performance and Urban Planning) was designed to help cities produce sustainable energy action plans for the future.

Central American Retail Chain Invests in Distributed Renewable Energy

A leading retail chain in Central America has chosen renewable energy solutions firm UGE and Panama-based energy company OTEPI Renewables, to design and supply solar energy systems at its facilities.

Canary Islands Get €150m Transmission Upgrade

Red Eléctrica de España, Spain’s transmission system operator), has been undertaking an ambitious plan to update and improve the Canary Islands grid, under the name Project MAR (Improvement of Network Assets). The project MAR has a budget of €150 million, of which €72 million has been spent so far.

Consider Variables Before Installing Heat Pumps and District Heating Systems

The heat pump is one of many solutions to energy savings. When designed, installed and commissioned correctly, it is capable of creating fewer carbon emissions than the gas boiler system, says Jonathan Prescott, Regional Sales Manager, Renewable Heating, Mitsubishi Electric.

Energy Storage To Benefit Graphene R&D

A roadmap highlighting three broad areas of activity for graphene developments over the next 10 years should improve the performance and viability of energy storage and fuel cells.