Sat. Jul 13th, 2024
Brussels, 12 July 2023

I agree with Teresa that this informal meeting of energy ministers was very useful!

I am grateful to the Spanish Presidency for welcoming us in the beautiful Valladolid.

Yesterday, we had a chance to witness all-time record heat so this is something that is guiding now our forward-looking discussions.

The Spanish Presidency has an ambitious energy programme, which clearly reflects Spain‘s leading role in Europe’s clean energy transition.

Spain is a frontrunner on renewables deployment, it is home to a vibrant clean energy industry. And it has combined all of this with an attention to affordable energy for consumers and for a just transition.

Yesterday and today, as Teresa mentioned, we discussed the legislative agenda for the next six months, but also some more strategic issues.

Let me start with COP28.

The EU will have a strong story to tell.

The energy crisis did not derail our energy transition. On the contrary!

Last year we had a record new renewable energy capacity addition, and we expect further increase for this year. Carbon emissions last year were reduced by 2.5%.

Building on this track record, we discussed today how the EU can best prepare for the COP 28.

Yesterday we heard from Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, the President of the COP28 his plans and his benchmarks for measuring the success of the conference.

We have a common perception among Ministers that this COP is one of the last opportunities to take decisive and collective action for mitigation.

With this perspective, I proposed that the EU supports global targets for energy efficiency and renewables.

What we propose is a voluntary, non-binding pledge to triple the global rate of deployment of renewables through 2030. This is to ensure that most of the newly deployed capacity are renewables.

For energy efficiency, we propose to double the global rate of energy efficiency improvements this decade compared to the previous decade.

These global targets would be fully in line with EU’s 2030 targets. They do not prejudge the portfolio needed to decarbonise the energy sector post-2030.

We want global targets to create a new momentum and encourage the world to match the level of ambition shown by the EU and our Member States.

I am satisfied by the expression of support from Ministers and the interest expressed by Sultan Al Jaber himself. I will bring now this proposal to the G20 Ministerial next week when energy ministers will meet in India.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The other side of the energy transition is the question of where the necessary raw materials will come from, and where the clean technologies will be manufactured.

In the background, there is a concern for the future of Europe’s clean tech industry, in the context of a global race to attract investment with “made in” policies and tax breaks.

We had a very fruitful discussion on these strategic issues this morning.

The Commission has put these questions front and center in our strategy to ensure our competitiveness and green transition.

We proposed in March the Net-Zero Industry Act to support “made in Europe” clean tech manufacturing and the Critical Raw Materials Act to secure access to raw materials.

And the Strategic Technology for Europe Platform proposed two weeks ago will help us stimulate up to 160 billion euro in investments in critical technologies and make sure companies grow and flourish here in Europe.

We discussed the importance of advancing these policies and the barriers we still need to address.

We have a large convergence around the need for Europe to rise to the challenge and do more to strengthen its competitiveness in the clean tech sector.

There is also a common understanding that we need to maintain a balanced approach and not slide into protectionism.

I also expressed my confidence that Europe has all the assets, from research to skilled workforce to capital and a vibrant industrial capacity, to emerge as a lead industrial powerhouse of the green transition.

I am looking forward to advancing these proposals together with the Spanish Presidency over the next months.

Another issue we discussed is how to make our internal energy market up to date. More specifically, how increased flexibility and smarter electricity networks can support us in making the clean energy transition happen.

The share of renewable energy in EU’s electricity system is estimated to reach already around 69 per cent by 2030 and up to 80 per cent by 2050.

The need for electricity system flexibility could increase up to 30% of total electricity demand by 2050.

We had a good discussion on how the RED III can pave the way towards faster permitting procedures for renewables, which also apply to energy storage assets and for flexibility solutions. The Electricity Market Design will add further options in this direction.

And of course we all recognised the importance of regional cooperation in this regard, an issue well known in the Iberian Peninsula.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Last year in July we were discussing how to cut gas demand in Europe by 15%. It was just a year ago. We discussed that to avoid a dramatic crisis.

Today in Valladolid we discussed the future of our energy system.

Europe is shifting the focus from crisis response to its net-zero agenda.

This change of focus in itself is excellent news.

Thank you.

Source – EU Commission


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