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Saturday 20.04.2019 | Name days: Mirta, Ziedīte

Environment reforms in Europe that will benefit environment and wallet

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUOn Tuesday, 26 March, members of the European Parliament approved new rules intended to create a more consumer and environment-friendly EU electricity market, as reported by European Parliament’s representative in Latvia Signe Znotiņa-Znota.

European Parliament approved four legislative drafts associated with EU’s electricity market, thereby concluding work on the Clean Energy for All Europeans package. An informal agreement among ministers was achieved at the end of last year.

The agreement on the Domestic Electrical Energy Market regulation was approved with 544 votes in favour, 76 votes against and 40 MEPs abstaining. The agreement for Common rules for the internal electricity market were approved with 551 MEPs voting in favour, 72 voting against and 37 MEPs abstaining.

New rules will allow consumers in Europe to use smart counters, dynamic price system and the right to switch electricity suppliers within three weeks free of charge (from 2026 – within 24 hours).

EU member states will be able to create temporary price regulation mechanisms to support poor households. Still, social security systems will have to take the largest portion of responsibility for prevention of energy poverty.

Also one of the main goals of new rules will be promotion of cross-border energy trade. It will be necessary to secure 70% of sold energy through cross-border trade to approach EU’s goal to ensure 32% of renewable energy resource ratio in total energy consumption balance by 2030.

EU rules currently permit subsidizing function of coal power plants in certain situations. New rules will limit this option.  New rules will apply to all new coal power plants the moment they come to force. From 2025 onward, however, new rules will apply to existing power plants. Rules will not apply to contracts on state support signed before 31 December 2019.

EP rapporteur Jerzy Buzek (ETP, Poland) added that «good for the environment and good for the wallet».

New rules for electricity sector’s readiness for emergencies were approved with 569 votes in favour, 61 votes against and 34 MEPs abstaining. Their goal is protecting residents from sudden supply fluctuations. Member states will have to assess electricity deficit risks and cooperate with other countries from their region.

EP rapporteur Flavio Zanonato (S&D, Italy) said: «This agreement establishes solidarity as the real backbone of managing electricity risks, so that in the future no one will be left alone to cope with a cold spell and with sudden interruptions to electricity.»

To ensure the best regulation for EU electricity market, new rules will expand the power of Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER). New rules were approved with 558 votes in favour, 75 against and 31 MEPs abstaining.

EP rapporteur Morten Helveg Petersen (ALDE, DK) said after the meeting: «We are taking important steps with the ACER reform towards a more open and better regulated electricity market. This will benefit the climate, consumers and our economy at large.»

Next steps include official agreement by EU ministers.


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