With the Climate Law, the EU plans to be climate neutral by 2050. How do electrical contractors fit in?

The EU has agreed to become climate neutral by 2050 and the Commission has recently proposed the Climate Law, which will enshrine this objective in EU legislation. In the run up to this proposal, EuropeOn made it clear that electrical contractors support this objective and explained how our sector can (and already does) contribute to its attainment.

As the workforce behind electrification, electrical contractors are a necessary steppingstone in decarbonization efforts. Whether it is in buildings, with energy efficiency and flexibility technologies or in transport, with e-mobility infrastructure, electrification offers the most efficient solutions to reduce emissions. In addition, it comes with other benefits such as reduced air and noise pollution, in the case of transport. For buildings, decentralized electrification, comprising renewable generation and demand-side flexibility, enables consumers to take control of their carbon footprint and act at their (end-user) level.

Investing in zero-emissions technologies will drive emission reductions and preserve competitiveness, all the while future-proofing our economy and empowering consumers to take part in the energy transition. Strong political commitments such as this Climate Law offer predictability for businesses to invest in sustainable activities and allow this sector to develop.

However, in order to realize their full potential and to keep up with the rising demand, electrical contractors need support. The human capital behind the energy transition needs to be considered. With a shortage of available skilled personnel, the electrical contracting sector is ready to grow and provide more jobs than ever before, provided there is adequate government support. Regulators should ensure that the skills gap and number of vacancies do not increase as demand for zero-emission solutions rises, following more stringent climate norms.

This is the reason why EuropeOn, with several fellow European organizations, launched the #Skills4Climate campaign last November.

In tandem with human capital considerations, the digital transformation has to be addressed. Digitalization offers great potential but will mandate specific support regarding training and data flows. Meaning that our professionals’ skills-base needs (regular) updating and that the framework for data availability and usage, such as data from electrical installations, must be in line with its energy efficiency potential.

Electrical contractors welcome this Climate Law that will pave the way for a competitive energy transition, provided the climate neutrality objective is mainstreamed across EU policies such as skills and digital policies. We will also welcome intermediary targets with a level of ambition in line with the Paris Agreement.

As the EU is planning for an ambitious review of its 2030 emissions targets, EuropeOn will make sure to contribute to their policy-making efforts and bring the human capital perspective to the energy transition debate. Stay tuned for our input in this regard.

Download our full Climate Law letter here.