Sebastian Gallehr, Chairman, e5.
The European Business Council for Sustainable Energy (e5) is committed to achieving a sustainable energy future based on policy advocacy activities and the development of the renewable energy source (RES) marketplace. Increased use of RES is imperative for a sustainable energy future – and offers vast business opportunities. RES has enormous potential for improving the environmental performance of industry and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions . A variety of socio-economic benefits are indicated by RES development, including SME-centred business and employment creation, a secure energy supply, technology exports from EU member states, decentralisation of energy distribution, and efficient use of natural resources. e5’s members are engaged in RES industries such as wind power, solar energy, biomass, hydropower, and wave power. Sustainable energy engineers and consultants are another RES-focused segment of e5’s membership base. e5 encourages policy-makers to increase support for the "new technology generation“ based on renewable energy and high-end efficiency measures. We would like to provide the following (number) recommendations to EU policy makers to facilitate progress to a sustainable energy future:
EU member governments should create a level playing field by cutting subsidies for centralised, climatedamaging business practice. Subsidies for conventional power should expire within ten years, and should not be renewed.
A revenue-neutral tax reform that gradually increases the levy on all non-renewable energies should be pursued. Such tax reform measures allow authorities to take account of social and environmental costs from all energy sources, increasing development opportunities for greater numbers of energy-related enterprises, while increasing investment incentives in sustainable energy industries.
Governments should require priority grid access for on-grid renewable energy usage. Clear connection terms should be fixed and provide fair, transparent pricing for access and transmission.
RES Uptake in Developing Countries
e5 believes that increased EU exports of RES technology depends on the harmonisation of economic and social demands in emerging markets. Communications, networking and promotion strategies within the EU should make such harmonisation a core consideration of their activities. Additionally, public economic and technical support agencies as well as member state embassies should take a more pragmatic, future-oriented approach towards developing country economic and social issues.
Intermittent renewable energy
e5 promotes large-scale use of intermittent renewable energy. At issue is the integration of renewable energy sourced power into existing networks and the balancing of supply and demand with regard to intermittent renewable energy.
Integration of Energy, Heating, and Transportation Policy
In addition to RES, e5 advocates integrative policy measures for the heating and transportation sectors to complete a holistic approach to energy industry regulation. Without such integrative frameworks, the effort to achieve effective emission reductions is incomplete, with the energy sector shouldering the lion's share of the burden.
e5 supports successful national policies against badly designed European harmonisation rules. National, regional, and local RES industries must have the flexibility to adapt to specific market conditions. Governments have been developing appropriate means to strengthen renewable energy uptake at home, and fostering RES investment in foreign markets. Feed-in tariffs are an example.
Emissions Trading and RES
Emissions trading is the most appropriate, market-based tool against climate change. Yet, emissions trading does not support short-term renewable energy uptake. Thus, e5 calls for policies that run parallel to emissions trading and advances a central role for renewable energy in enhancing climate protection. A Forward Looking Strategy By advocating an investment security approach, e5 strives to send a signal to policy-makers that European economies are prepared for a renewable energy future. The willingness to invest is here now - with risk diversification and containment, social responsibility, poverty alleviation in emerging markets, supply security and increasing European export capacity providing the basis for action. Many companies keep technology, product and marketing concepts in reserve and are ready to enter the renewable energydriven future. Business will not release its renewable energy potential until policy frameworks have adapted to market signals and industrial needs. e5 pledges, as a priority, to assist policy-makers in fostering investment security by providing clear, consistent, and reliable policy contributions.