EuropeOn Participates in EU Commission’s REPowerEU 2-year anniversary

Two years ago, in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the European Commission launched the REPowerEU plan, marking a significant milestone in Europe’s energy policy. On May 14, EuropeOn and 20 other associations were invited by Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson to a meeting to reflect on the impact of this initiative across Europe. This gathering underscored the plan’s achievements in enhancing energy security and accelerating the green transition.

The REPowerEU Plan: a two-year retrospective

The REPowerEU plan was designed to swiftly reduce the EU’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels by accelerating the transition to clean energy and fostering collaboration towards a more resilient energy system. Commissioner Simson emphasized in her opening remarks that “Gas is not the whole story and should not be the main story,” highlighting the broader scope of the EU’s energy transformation.

Over the past two years, the REPowerEU Plan has made remarkable strides:

– An unprecedented increase in renewable energy capacity, with over 130 GW of new renewable energy deployed.

– Avoidance of 24 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas consumption due to this increase.

– A significant boost in the electricity sector, particularly with solar installation volumes soaring from 16.8 GW in 2019 to 55.9 GW in 2023.

– In 2023, Europe generated more electricity from wind power than from gas, with wind power growing by a record 55 TWh from 2022 levels.

EuropeOn’s contributions and future directions

As EuropeOn’s General Secretary of Chairperson of the Electrification Alliance, Julie Beaufils highlighted two critical areas during the meeting:

  1. Attracting talent for the energy transition: building on Commissioner Simson’s concluding remark on “communication challenges”, Julie Beaufils called for Europe to encourage awareness for energy transition-related jobs, especially technical roles. EuropeOn has released two reports to assist the European Commission and Member States in complying with the new skills provisions under the Energy Efficiency Directive, which will take effect from 2024 (more here).
  2. Establishing an Electrification Action Plan: The urgency of developing a comprehensive Electrification Action Plan was stressed. This plan would provide a strategic framework to support the increased adoption of electrification as a key pillar of the green transition. Julie Beaufils stressed that although most observers consider that electrification will fuel Europe’s future, the share of electricity in final energy uses is stagnating at around 23%. An Electrification Action Plan could set a target of 35% by 2030 and propose enabling conditions (more here).

The meeting organized by the European Commission to commemorate the REPowerEU plan’s launch was a significant event, highlighting the progress made and the challenges ahead. EuropeOn’s active participation and the insights shared by its General Secretary underscore the vital role of electrical contractors in driving the EU’s energy transition. With continued collaboration and strategic initiatives like the Electrification Action Plan, Europe can be well-positioned to achieve its ambitious energy and climate goals.

To read the Energy Commissioner’s speech, please click here