The European Commission (EC) has set out its strategy to achieve a resilient ‘Energy Union’ with a forward-looking climate change policy.
The proposals would ensure that locally produced energy – including from renewables – can be absorbed easily and efficiently into the grid.
It would also stop member states intervening in the internal market in order to redesign the electricity market to be more interconnected, more renewable and more responsive.
President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “For too long, energy has been exempt from the fundamental freedoms of our Union. Current events show the stakes, as many Europeans fear they may not have the energy needed to heat their homes.
“This is about Europe acting together for the long term. I want the energy that underpins our economy to be resilient, reliable, secure and growingly renewable and sustainable.”
Maroš Šefčovič, the vice-president responsible for the Energy Union, said the strategy was the most ambitious European energy project since the Coal and Steel Community.
He said it would integrate 28 European energy markets into one, making Europe less energy dependent and providing the predictability that investors so badly needed to create jobs and growth.
EHPA secretary general Thomas Nowak added: “The energy package adopted by the EC today offers a comprehensive view of the energy challenges to be addressed by the EU, but it fails to picture the right mix.
“We welcome the announcement of a strategy and actions on heating and cooling and the determination towards energy efficiency and renewables. But why is so much energy put in replacing the gas dependency of the EU to one country by the dependency to another, when reducing the overall dependency is possible as of today?”
The European Heat Pump Association has called for the Energy Union to give primary consideration to secure, efficient and sustainable solutions for heating and cooling.