Minister of Energy Žygimantas Vaičiūnas: Lithuania Supports Ambitious EU Renewable Energy Targets

Date

2018 06 13

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On 11 June, Minister of Energy Žygimantas Vaičiūnas attended a meeting of the EU Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council in Luxembourg. The Council continued negotiations on European Union targets for renewable energy and energy efficiency by 2030, as well as on the EU Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) regulation.

At the meeting of the Council, the Minister of Energy expressed Lithuania’s support for more ambitious EU targets for renewable energy and energy efficiency by 2030 than had previously been agreed upon at the meeting of the Council that took place in December 2017.

The European Commission has proposed that by 2030, at least 27 per cent of the EU’s energy be produced from renewable energy sources (RES), and that EU energy savings of at least 30 per cent be achieved. Meanwhile, the European Parliament (EP) has proposed setting higher goals: by 2030, at least 35 per cent of the EU’s energy should be produced from RES, with the same number for the energy efficiency target.

“Lithuania expresses its unwavering support for the renewable energy targets proposed by the European Parliament that are more ambitious than those agreed upon by the European Council four years ago. We need to build bridges between the past and the future, especially considering that renewable energy is becoming increasingly cheaper and is creating more and more tangible economic benefits,” said Mr Vaičiūnas.

Speaking about energy efficiency targets, the minister stressed that ambitions should be balanced and that the measures for achieving these goals should not undermine the economic efficiency or industrial competitiveness of the states. Therefore, Lithuania advocates optional targets – both EU and national – in the field of energy efficiency, as well as more flexible implementation thereof.

On the basis of this Council discussion, Bulgaria, which holds the presidency, will attempt in June to complete negotiations with the EP on the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Directives, which, together with the Regulation on the Governance of the Energy Union, make up to Clean Energy Package. The purpose of this document is to accelerate the transition to clean energy, while also ensuring that the goals of the Energy Union are achieved.

At the meeting of the Council, a common position was reached regarding changes to the regulation on the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER). This is proposed to be done by giving ACER more functions in overseeing wholesale markets and dealing with cross-border issues. On the basis of this agreement, Austria will enter into negotiations with the EP during its presidency and seek a general agreement.