Davey tells EU to boost competition to cut energy bills


Ed Davey, MP
Ed Davey, MP

UK Energy Secretary Edward Davey has today outlined the agenda for tomorrow’s two key policy debates at the Energy Council meeting in Brussels.

The first will be on the Commission’s communication on energy prices and costs in Europe, which analyses the impact of the decarbonisation of the energy sector on energy prices for households and industry.

The Communication charts rises in electricity and gas prices and costs and the price differential between the EU and its competitors. It also examines the potential risks to energy-intensive industries. The Communication argues for actions to reduce energy costs including completion of the internal market, action to improve competition in the retail markets, and improving energy efficiency. The importance of cost effective climate and energy policies is reinforced.

The UK will argue that the EU needs to do more to tackle high energy costs through more efficient and competitive markets, early agreement and a cost effective approach to the 2030 climate and energy framework, support for industrial energy efficiency, and diversification of energy supplies.

The second debate will be on the Commission’s Communication setting out a climate and energy policy framework for 2030.

The proposed framework is based on an overarching binding domestic greenhouse gas emissions reduction target for 2030 of 40% and an EU-level renewable energy target of 27%. The renewable energy target would not include binding national targets, in contrast to the 2020 framework.

The Communication also proposes a new governance process, based on national plans. The plans would set out how each Member State intends to meet its 2030 greenhouse gas reduction target, including, in particular, planned levels of renewables and energy efficiency.

Davey explained: “We’ll be emphasising the need for early political agreement on the 2030 framework. The 40% GHG target proposed by the Commission is a good start, but will argue that the EU needs to go further – up to 50% – in the event of an ambitious global climate deal.

“We particularly welcome the Commission’s recognition of our argument that countries must be allowed to decarbonise in the cheapest way possible. However, the UK remains concerned to ensure that a renewables target binding on an individual Member State is fully ruled out and we’ll be seeking greater clarity on this.”

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