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Nós Imeachta : 2010/2108(INI)
Céimeanna an doiciméid sa chruinniú iomlánach
An doiciméad roghnaithe : A7-0313/2010

Téacsanna arna gcur síos :

A7-0313/2010

Díospóireachtaí :

PV 24/11/2010 - 13
CRE 24/11/2010 - 13

Vótaí :

PV 25/11/2010 - 8.9
CRE 25/11/2010 - 8.9
Mínithe ar vótaí
Mínithe ar vótaí

Téacsanna arna nglacadh :

P7_TA(2010)0441

Texts adopted
PDF 184kDOC 115k
Thursday, 25 November 2010 - Strasbourg Final edition
A new Energy Strategy for Europe 2011-2020
P7_TA(2010)0441A7-0313/2010

European Parliament resolution of 25 November 2010 on Towards a new Energy Strategy for Europe 2011-2020 (2010/2108(INI))

The European Parliament ,

–  having regard to the Commission stocktaking document entitled ‘Towards a new Energy Strategy for Europe 2011-2020’, published on 7 May 2010,

–  having regard to the Commission communication to the European Council and the European Parliament of 10 January 2007 entitled ‘An Energy Policy for Europe’ (COM(2007)0001), which was followed by Commission Communication to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 13 November 2008 entitled ‘Second Strategic Energy Review - an EU Energy Security and Solidarity Action Plan’ and accompanying documents (COM(2008)0781),

–  having regard to its resolution of 3 February 2009 on the Second Strategic Energy Review(1) ,

–  having regard to the Third Energy Package, consisting of Regulation (EC) No 713/2009 of 13 July 2009 on setting up the Agency for Cooperation of Energy Regulators, Regulation (EC) No 714/2009 of 13 July 2009 on the conditions of grid access for cross-border electricity trade and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1228/2003, Regulation (EC) No 715/2009 of 13 July 2009 on the conditions of access to the NG transmission grid and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1775/2005, Directive 2009/72/EC of 13 July 2009 on the community rules for the internal electricity market and repealing Directive 2003/54/EC (the ‘Electricity Directive’ or ‘ED’), as well as Directive 2009/73/EC of 13 July 2009 on the community rules for the natural gas (NG) internal market and repealing Directive 2003/55/EC (the ‘NG Directive’ or ‘NGD’)(2) ,

–  having regard to the EU Energy and Climate Change Package, consisting of Regulation (EC) No 443/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 setting emission performance standards for new passenger cars as part of the Community's integrated approach to reduce CO2 emissions from light-duty vehicles, Directive 2009/28/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources and amending and subsequently repealing Directives 2001/77/EC and 2003/30/EC, Directive 2009/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 amending Directive 2003/87/EC so as to improve and extend the greenhouse gas emission allowance trading scheme of the Community, Directive 2009/30/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 amending Directive 98/70/EC as regards the specification of petrol, diesel and gas-oil and introducing a mechanism to monitor and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and amending Council Directive 1999/32/EC as regards the specification of fuel used by inland waterway vessels and repealing Directive 93/12/EEC, Directive 2009/31/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the geological storage of carbon dioxide and amending Council Directive 85/337/EEC, European Parliament and Council Directives 2000/60/EC, 2001/80/EC, 2004/35/EC, 2006/12/EC, 2008/1/EC and Regulation (EC) No 1013/2006, as well as Decision No 406/2009/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the effort of Member States to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to meet the Community's greenhouse gas emission reduction commitments up to 2020(3) ,

–  having regard to its resolution of 26 September 2007 on towards a common European foreign policy on energy(4) ,

–  having regard to the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) of 17 December 1994, which sets the legal framework for international energy cooperation, together with its draft Transit Protocol,

–  having regard to Regulation (EC) No 663/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 establishing a programme to aid economic recovery by granting Community financial assistance to projects in the field of energy (European Energy Programme for Recovery)(5) ,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 31 May 2010 entitled ‘Programme to aid economic recovery: Community financial assistance to projects in the field of energy (amending Regulation (EC) No 663/2009)’ (COM(2010)0283),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 7 October 2009 entitled ‘Investing in the Development of Low Carbon Technologies (SET-Plan)’ (COM(2009)0519), and having regard to its resolution of 11 March 2010 on investing in the development of low carbon technologies (SET-Plan)(6) ,

–  having regard to the Commission report to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 4 May 2010 on the implementation of the Trans-European energy networks in the period 2007-2009 (COM(2010)0203),

–  having regard to the Commission proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning measures to safeguard security of gas supply and repealing Directive 2004/67/EC (COM(2009)0363) (Vidal-Quadras report),

–  having regard to the Communication from the Commission on an Action Plan for Energy Efficiency: Realising the Potential (COM(2006)0545),

–  having regard to the Commission report to the Council and the European Parliament of 25 June 2010 on progress concerning measures to safeguard security of electricity supply and infrastructure investment (COM(2010)0330),

–  having regard to the draft Council conclusions of 21 May 2010 entitled ‘Towards a new Energy Strategy for Europe 2011-2020’(7) ,

–  having regard to Directive 2006/32/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 April 2006 on energy end-use efficiency and energy services and repealing Council Directive 93/76/EEC (Energy Services Directive)(8) ,

–  having regard to Directive 2004/8/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2004 on the promotion of cogeneration based on a useful heat demand in the internal energy market and amending Directive 92/62/EEC (‘CHP Directive’)(9) ,

–  having regard to Article 194 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to Rule 48 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and the opinion of the Committee on International Trade (A7-0313/2010),

A.  whereas the Lisbon Treaty marks a new period for the Union which calls for the adjustment of our goals and strategies and of the EU budget in order to fully implement the Treaty,

B.  whereas the inclusion in the Lisbon Treaty of a specific chapter on energy now means that there is a firm legal basis for developing energy initiatives based on sustainability, security of supply, the interconnection of networks and solidarity,

C.  whereas the Union faces the problem of delayed or incomplete implementation of energy legislation and a lack of coordinated energy strategies, which calls for strong leadership from the Commission to bridge this gap, alongside a visible and convincing demonstration of Member State determination and support,

D.  whereas Europe continues to become more dependent on imports of foreign sources of energy, notably fossil fuels, whereas dependence on oil is particularly high and will increase in the future, and whereas the EU's energy policy must therefore have an international dimension,

E.  whereas living standards and economic competitiveness depend on the price and availability of energy,

F.  whereas the EU's energy policy should help it honour its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,

G.  whereas major energy investments are needed, notably in new power plants, interconnections and grids, within the next decade, and whereas, given that these investments will shape the energy mix for an even longer period, steps should be taken to ensure that they allow for the transformation to a sustainable economy; whereas this will require a further diversification of financing instruments or, potentially, new market arrangements, especially in those regions most isolated in energy terms,

H.  whereas there are substantial biomass resources available in the EU27 to manufacture significant quantities of second-generation biofuels,

I.  whereas coal will continue to be an important primary source of energy supply for the public and the economy,

J.  whereas investments in the energy sector are very capital intensive, and there is a need to create a stable long-term regulatory framework which enables companies to take environmentally and economically sound investment decisions, and whereas this should on no account entail distortions of competition,

K.  whereas the EU's ambitious long-term emissions reduction goal should be set in the context of a global deal on climate change, in order to maximise the EU's positive contribution to the international negotiations and to minimise the risks of carbon leakage and loss of competitiveness for European industries,

L.  whereas energy network infrastructure needs to be financed first and foremost from energy tariffs; whereas, however, EU funding and support might also be needed where markets alone cannot finance such investments, in order to establish properly functioning networks and open up European energy markets, mainly in the least developed regions,

M.  whereas the economic downturn following the financial crisis has delayed investment in the energy sector; whereas, however, the crisis can also offer an opportunity for Europe to reform,

N.  whereas a sustainable and dynamic economy should strive to decouple economic growth from energy consumption, notably by increasing energy efficiency per unit of output,

O.  whereas the Commission also stated its intention to assess in 2009 the global LNG situation and identify gaps with a view to proposing an LNG action plan,

Introduction: A strategy to ensure the full implementation of the Lisbon Treaty

1.  Welcomes the Commission stocktaking document entitled ‘Towards a new Energy Strategy for Europe 2011-2020’ as a first step towards a comprehensive EU energy policy in the context of the EU's 2020 strategy;

2.  Considers that any future strategy should seek to fulfil the Lisbon Treaty's core objectives of a single energy market, security of supply, energy efficiency and savings and the development of new and renewable forms of energy and the promotion of energy networks; furthermore, it should contribute to affordable energy prices for the benefit of all consumers, the enhancement of renewables in the framework of sustainable energy production, and the development of interconnected, integrated interoperable and smart energy networks and lead to a reduced reliance on energy imports and an increase in indigenous energy production, while maintaining competitiveness and industry growth and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions;

3.  Emphasises that the proposed strategy should be carried out, above all, in a spirit of solidarity and responsibility, on the basis that no Member State can be left behind or isolated and all Member States take measures to ensure the Union's mutual security; stresses the significance of the inclusion in the Treaty of a specific chapter on energy (Article 194 TFEU), providing a firm legal basis for Union action based on the Community method;

4.  Emphasises that the Union needs a long-term vision for an efficient and sustainable energy policy to 2050, guided by its long-term emissions reduction goals and complemented by precise and comprehensive short- and medium-term action plans to help it work towards these goals;

5.  Calls for plans to be drawn up for a European Energy Community involving strong cooperation on energy networks and European funding of new energy technologies; takes the view that the European Energy Community should, without initially requiring any amendment of the Lisbon Treaty, overcome the fragmentation of European energy policy and give the Union a strong international voice in its energy relations;

Ensure the functioning of the energy market

6.  Stresses that the completion of the European internal energy market is indispensable for the fulfilment of the EU's policy objectives; believes this should be based on a clear legal framework, in which legislation is strictly enforced and the Commission is more ready to bring infringement proceedings against Member States if needed;

7.  Strongly stresses the need to fully implement current EU energy legislation and to meet the EU's energy targets; underscores the need for the rapid and correct implementation of the Third Energy Package rules and of the energy efficiency package in all the Member States;

8.  Calls on the Commission to ensure that current internal market directives are fully and properly implemented and transposed by Member States and, should Member States fail to respond, to consider as a final measure the resubmission of key provisions of current internal market directives in the form of regulations, to ensure full direct application across the single market;

9.  Stresses the need to ensure security of supply for Europe's power generation stock by, in particular, developing an industrial policy which promotes long-term investment in the means of electricity production in the EU;

10.  Believes that the role of energy market regulators and cooperation between national regulators, competition authorities and the Commission should be strengthened, especially as regards the retail and wholesale markets; in that connection, calls on the Commission to take all necessary measures to ensure that the ACER and ENTSOs can fulfil their tasks efficiently; notes that if the ACER's and ENTSO's competences prove to be insufficient to create a more integrated European energy market, it might become necessary to amend their mandates; calls on the Commission and the ACER to develop proposals on how the involvement of stakeholders can be strengthened;

11.  Stresses the need to increase the transparency and improve the functioning of wholesale energy markets for the benefit of consumers, especially as regards the financial products traded on the energy market and the establishment of efficient intra-day markets throughout Europe; welcomes, in this context, the Commission's announcement that it intends to present a proposal on the transparency and integrity of traded energy markets and calls for the development of a coherent regulatory framework in this regard;

12.  Considers that consumers can benefit from increased competition in the energy market; highlights the need to foster competition by diversifying transport routes, energy sources and market operators on European markets and the importance of encouraging the development of new business models;

13.  Recalls the Commission's 2005 sector inquiry; calls for a second energy sector inquiry to be launched in 2013;

14.  Asks the Commission to organise an annual summit with representatives of the committees of the national parliaments responsible for energy matters and Members of the European Parliament and stakeholders in EU energy-related policies and legislation and in other related issues in order to ensure better mutual understanding; supports, further, the idea of a special meeting of the European Council focusing on relevant energy policy issues, which should take into account Parliament's reports on the Energy Strategy 2011-2020 and Energy Efficiency Action Plan;

Support modern integrated grids

15.  Strongly emphasises that any delay in the development of a modern and smart EU-wide electricity and gas grid jeopardises the EU's ambition to achieve by 2020 its 20-20-20 energy and climate objectives and to meet the EU 2050 objectives as agreed by the Heads of State and Government, thereby, enhancing the EU's security of energy supply; therefore welcomes the central focus of the Energy Strategy on smart and modern infrastructure to develop modern EU-wide integrated grids;

16.  Stresses that only a pan-European energy network, which takes no account of Member State borders, will make the completion of the internal energy market possible; sees an urgent need to develop and fully implement the legislative and financial mechanisms provided for under the Treaty and secondary legislation so as to remedy without delay any failure to act regarding gaps or shortcomings in the provision of Trans-European Energy Network links; points out that ensuring that all European energy production is used in an optimal way will reduce the need for imports;

17.  Urges the Member States to provide the Commission, in good time and in full, with the information required under Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 617/2010 on the notification of investment projects in energy infrastructure, so that an overview can be drawn up of potential gaps in demand and supply as well as obstacles to investments, pending the judgment of the Court of Justice on the legality of the regulation, which should have been adopted under the codecision procedure, as required by Article 194 of the Treaty;

18.  Believes that the forthcoming Commission ‘Blueprint for a North Sea offshore grid’, together with other regional initiatives such as the ‘Mediterranean Ring’ and the ‘Baltic Interconnection Project’, should become one of the building blocks for developing a European Supergrid; calls on the Member States and the Commission to set aside the resources required for its development;

19.  Stresses that the Ten-Year Network Development Plan (to integrate the EU's electricity and gas grid networks) should be brought more closely into line with the 2020 targets and then implemented as a methodological and technological basis for new legislation in the area of energy infrastructure; notes the role of the ACER in monitoring its implementation; stresses the urgent need to integrate energy islands into the European energy grid, including through the establishment of better gas grid interconnections and LNG terminals, which should bring an end to the market isolation of some Member States and increase security of supply for those EU countries that currently depend heavily on a few non-EU countries;

20.  Stresses the need for a more comprehensive exchange of information on the part of operators regarding infrastructure grid management in order to prevent market distortions being caused by information asymmetry;

21.  Reiterates that if the market is to have the incentive to invest in the research and development of new energy technologies it needs a regulatory framework; in this regard, highlights the continued need for a common EU patent;

22.  Points out, further, that there is an urgent need to develop and modernise distribution networks, in order to integrate growing amounts of distributed generation;

23.  Believes that the current programme for the Trans-European Energy Networks (TEN-E) was inefficient, did not contribute significantly to the construction of interconnection between Member States and needs to be adjusted to meet the targets set in the climate and energy package and the third internal market package; believes, further, that the proposed energy infrastructure package and the replacement for TEN-E should therefore:

   (a) evaluate the problem of permits for energy infrastructure and benchmark the different approaches with the aim of removing red tape, shortening approval processes and addressing the public's concerns;
   (b) define and support priority projects and set criteria to identify key infrastructure investments for the development of the internal energy market, taking into account the projects' contribution to security of supply, the need to strengthen competition and meet long-term sustainable energy goals and improve social and territorial cohesion;
   (c) give clear criteria and guidelines to Member States on public and EU funding for energy infrastructure;
   (d) extend financial support, including by the European Investment Bank and other financial intermediaries, to the implementation phase of projects, to deal with market failures;
   (e) create a cross-border cost-sharing model, especially as regards coordinated development of infrastructure and renewables, inspired by successful existing models;
   (f) evaluate whether opening up infrastructure projects of EU importance to tendering could speed up investment in infrastructure;

Financing of energy policy

24.  Considers that the new multiannual financial framework should reflect the EU's political priorities as outlined in the 2020 Strategy, taking into account the findings and priorities of the Second Strategic Energy Review, which implies that a significantly higher proportion of the budget should be allocated to energy policy, including modern and smart energy infrastructure, energy efficiency, renewable-energy projects and research, development and deployment of new energy technologies;

25.  Believes that a modern EU-wide electricity grid will play a key role in achieving the 20% development target for renewables; calls on the Commission, therefore, to develop an appropriate system of incentives for investment in power plants in specific regions, in order to achieve optimal economic effect and avoid inefficient investments in networks; points out, in this regard, that an overall strategy must address the energy system in its entirety, from producers to consumers;

26.  Asks the Commission to propose a strategy to increase efficiency on the heat market in order to support efficient local infrastructures, such as district heating and cooling, that foster the development of integrated solutions for heating, cooling and electricity based on combined heat and power and efficient use of renewable energy sources;

27.  Believes that innovative financial instruments (for instance risk-sharing facilities and loan schemes by public banks) could be an important tool for supporting investments in energy infrastructure, energy efficiency, renewable-energy projects and research and development of new energy technologies with the aim of supporting the transition towards a sustainable economy; calls, therefore, on the Commission increasingly to supplement or replace traditional grants by these schemes and to encourage Member States to use such innovative financial instruments; draws attention, in that connection, to the positive experience gained with other similar instruments; strongly endorses the proposal to use EU budget equity as loan guarantees to encourage private and public investments;

28.  Believes, as stressed by the Commission in the EU 2020 strategy, that the EU should shift the tax burden towards activities harmful to the environment; encourages the Commission to review the energy taxation directive in accordance herewith;

29.  Regards it as essential that future funding of energy investments should focus on projects which create the largest possible number of new jobs;

30.  Stresses that some Union support for major infrastructure investment in some Member States, including in electrical grids and supply networks, in particular to secure energy supply and achieve climate and environmental goals, may be needed if the market alone cannot provide it;

31.  Emphasises that market integration requires better use of existing functional grids, based on the harmonisation of market arrangements across borders and the development of common European schemes for management of the interconnections;

32.  Notes the ACER's responsibility to ensure that national programming of electricity grid development corresponds to the 10-year Network Development Plan;

33.  Stresses that many of the newer Member States are especially vulnerable to external energy supply disruptions and need particular Union support in ensuring stable energy security;

34.  Welcomes the establishment of a smart grids task force within the Commission and recommends that it take due account of the opinions of all stakeholders; asks the Commission to provide Parliament with regular progress reports on the task force's work; stresses that, on the basis of the task force's conclusions, the Commission should guarantee a favourable regulatory framework at EU level for smart grids which provides appropriate incentives for network operators to invest in operational efficiency and which sets EU-wide common standards for the development of smart grids, thereby aiding the transition to a sustainable economy; furthermore, supports pilot projects for innovative communication, automation and grid control technologies; recalls the provisions on smart meters in Directives 2009/72/EC and 2009/73/EC;

35.  Supports pilot projects for the roll-out of smart meters - for instance under the SET-Plan initiative ‘smart cities’ - provided that consumers and low-income users are protected and privacy is guaranteed;

36.  Asks the Commission to come forward, by the end of 2011, with an analysis on the future of the global and EU gas market, including the impact of the gas infrastructure projects already planned (such as the projects developed in the context of the Southern Corridor), new LNG terminals, the impact of shale gas on the US gas market (notably on LNG import needs) and the impact of possible shale gas developments in the EU on future security of gas supply and prices; believes the analysis should reflect, and take as a starting point, the current state of infrastructure development and the EU's 2020 CO2 targets; stresses that all relevant stakeholders should be consulted;

Exploit better the EU's energy efficiency and renewable energy potential

37.  Takes the view that energy efficiency and energy savings should be key priorities of any future strategy, as they represent a cost-effective way of reducing EU energy dependency and combating climate change, contributing to job creation and economic competitiveness and counteracting the increase in energy tariffs and bills, thus reducing energy poverty; calls on the Commission and the Member States to put energy efficiency at the top of the EU agenda, and calls for the implementation of existing legislation to be stepped up and for the timely adoption by the Commission of an ambitious Energy Efficiency Action Plan; therefore believes that it should be implemented in a way that takes into account the efforts already made in some Member States;

38.  Welcomes the review of the Energy Efficiency Action Plan; calls on the Commission to take Parliament's opinion into account;

39.  Stresses that ICT can and should play a major role in promoting responsible energy consumption in households, transport, energy generation and manufacturing; considers that smart meters, efficient lighting, cloud computing and distributed software have the potential to transform energy use patterns;

40.  Believes that energy efficiency and energy savings should also focus on the whole energy supply and demand chain, including transformation, transmission, distribution and supply, alongside industrial, household and transport consumption;

41.  Supports the development of a properly functioning market for energy services and the introduction of further market mechanisms to improve the energy efficiency as a way of stimulating the competitiveness of the EU economy;

42.  Believes, further, that more focus should be placed on the energy performance of energy-consuming products; encourages the Commission to implement the eco-design directive to the full, e.g. by including more products and applying a dynamic standard-setting model to ensure that ambitious targets are set and regularly updated;

43.  Calls on the Commission to present an evaluation of the implementation of the existing legislation; considers that, if the evaluation reveals unsatisfactory implementation of the overall energy efficiency strategy and the EU is therefore projected not to reach its 2020 energy efficiency target, the EEAP should include a commitment by the Commission to propose further EU measures for Member States, such as individual energy efficiency targets which correspond to at least 20% energy savings at EU level in line with the EU2020 headline targets and which take into account relative starting positions and national circumstances, and the approval in advance of each Member State's national energy efficiency action plan; considers that such additional measures should be shown to be necessary, fair and measurable and to have an effective and direct impact on the implementation of national energy efficiency plans; calls on the Commission and the Member States to agree on a common methodology for measuring national energy efficiency targets and monitoring progress towards achieving those targets;

44.  Supports a multi-level governance and decentralised approach to energy policy and energy efficiency, including the Covenant of Mayors and the further development of the Smart Cities initiative; underlines the need for credible funding, including for bottom-up initiatives and for the involvement of cities and regions; stresses that bringing future Cohesion Policy and the use of its funds into line with the EU2020 strategy would provide for a key delivery mechanism for smart and sustainable growth in the Member States and regions;

45.  Believes that Europe is falling behind its international partners in developing the full potential of bioenergy technology; encourages the Commission and the Member States to draft a cross-sectoral biomass policy that establishes a sustainable market for biomass from agriculture, agricultural waste and forestry whilst preventing an increase in emissions and a loss of biodiversity; recognises that sustainable second-generation technology is available now; calls on the Commission to propose a policy framework and supports further promotion of the deployment of sustainable second-generation biofuels in Europe;

46.  Calls on the Commission to analyse the respective national renewable energy action plans presented by Member States; asks the Commission to take action if needed to help certain Member States to improve their plans and to use its full powers to ensure that Member States live up to their legal obligation to meet their national target; highlights the cooperation mechanisms in the directive to help the Member States to reach their targets; calls, further, on the Commission to establish a cooperation platform between competent national bodies in order to facilitate the exchange of information and the identification of best practices for renewables;

47.  Recognises the important role of pumped storage plants as an efficient, reliable and environmentally-friendly source of power for ancillary and balancing services;

48.  Believes that to ensure the effective deployment of renewable energy, the flexibility mechanisms provided for in the RES Directive should be used and grid connection conditions should be harmonised with a view to ensuring uniformly profitable terms for renewable energy (e.g. payment of grid connection costs through the grid tariff); believes that in the medium term regional renewables market groups could be created;

49.  Calls for the deployment of renewable sources of energy within the EU to be made more efficient by striving in the longer run towards a system of EU-wide incentives for renewable sources, which would make it possible for specific types of renewables to be deployed in those parts of the EU where they are most efficient, thereby lowering the cost of promoting them and guaranteeing the efficient allocation of funding; believes that in the long term renewable energy should be part of a properly-functioning and integrated internal EU energy market;

50.  Believes that a medium-term vision should be developed with a view to tackling key issues relating to the full market integration of renewable energies; emphasises in this regard that any harmonisation must be properly prepared in order to avoid disrupting existing national markets; believes that a precondition for a harmonised support scheme is a properly-functioning, undistorted internal energy market and a level playing field; believes that any future policy should build on those support mechanisms which have proven their effectiveness in meeting targets and at the same time have guaranteed broad geographical and technological diversity and safeguarded investors' confidence;

51.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to incorporate financial and fiscal instruments for energy efficiency (notably as regards improvements to buildings) in their national energy efficiency action plans and to consider energy efficiency and energy infrastructure as a priority for the future multiannual financial framework; believes that an intelligent use of funds - such as green infrastructure banks to leverage private capital and easy and targeted access to EU funds - is crucial to increase the leverage of EU funds for enhancing energy efficiency;

Ensure security of energy supply

52.  Believes that, in coordination with the EEAS, the Commission should ensure that the Union speaks with one voice on external energy policy; believes, further, that the EU should use its new powers to actively identify the scope for and strengthen cooperation with third countries in the area of climate change mitigation and environmental protection;

53.  Considers that the EU must ensure that its energy policy has a strong and coherent international dimension and must integrate energy considerations into its external policies and actions; believes that the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy should give strong diplomatic support to the EU's energy policy, with the aim of enhancing energy security;

54.  Believes that in the short to medium term priority should be given to strategic energy infrastructure development and to expanding the relationship with central suppliers and transit countries; takes the view, however, that the most effective and sustainable long- term solution is achievable through the implementation of energy efficiency and energy-saving measures and the use of indigenous sustainable energy sources;

55.  Considers that all external pipelines and other energy networks entering the territory of the European Union should be governed by transparent intergovernmental agreements and subject to internal market rules, including rules on third party access, destination clauses, supervision of allocation and bottleneck management, the duration of the contracts and take or pay clauses; calls on the Commission to ensure that current and future pipelines and commercial agreements respect the European energy acquis and to take action if necessary;

56.  Believes that the EU should stick to the letter of the law and enforce compliance therewith in the spirit of energy solidarity and respect for competition and common market rules, and not give in to the vested interests of individual European countries, especially not exporters of gas to the European market;

57.  Calls for the further extension of membership of the Energy Community Treaty (ECT) to more of the EU's neighbouring countries, notably countries in the Eastern Partnership; emphasises that the Commission should ensure and enforce the timely and strict implementation of EU energy rules by Member States of the ECT, in particular by making the availability of EU funds contingent on compliance with Treaty obligations;

58.  Considers that the energy chapter covering political and technological cooperation included in each agreement with neighbouring states should be strengthened, notably by strengthening energy efficiency programmes and internal market rules; believes the Council should issue the Commission with a mandate to start negotiations on transforming current Memorandums of Understanding on energy issues into legally binding texts; points out that respect for human rights and a social dimension should be part of the energy dialogues;

59.  Calls on the Commission to step up, through trade agreements, the process of adopting EU-compatible safety and energy-efficiency rules for the generation, transmission, transit, storage and processing/refining of energy imports and exports, and to propose at WTO level global standards to boost open and fair trade in safe and renewable energy sources and new innovative energy technologies;

60.  Welcomes Russia's participation in the meetings of the Energy Charter Conference; calls on the Commission to work to extend the treaty to more countries and, in the forum of the Energy Charter Conference, to work towards a negotiated settlement leading to the full acceptance of the principles of the energy charter and its protocols by Russia; stresses, however, that any agreement should fully comply with EU internal energy market rules; stresses, further, that energy should be central to the post-PCA agreement with Russia and that this new agreement should serve as a guide and a foundation for consistency and coherence in individual Member States' relations with Russia;

61.  Asks the Commission and Council to work closely with NATO to ensure a consistency between the Union's and NATO's strategies on energy security;

62.  Asks the Commission to ensure that the Security of Gas Supply regulation is fully applied after its entry into force;

63.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States concerned to proceed further with the implementation of the EU Southern Gas Corridor, especially the Nabucco project, which could significantly enhance security of gas supply in the European Union; asks the Commission to report to Parliament and the European Council on the steps taken in this process;

64.  Calls for a special energy dialogue with the countries of the Caspian region, and welcomes the work on a Caspian Development Corporation; endorses, in this context, the dialogue on the EU Strategy for the Black Sea region and emphasises the importance of all energy issues in the dialogue between the EU and the countries of this region;

65.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to promote DESERTEC and TRANSGREEN in the context of the Mediterranean Solar Plan initiatives, in order to enhance security of supply and promote the development of the countries concerned by supporting solar power plants and other sustainable renewable energy technologies in the North African region and its connection to the European grid, if this proves economically viable and does not jeopardise the EU ETS system; believes that the cooperation instruments provided for in the directive on renewables imports from third countries should be exploited to the full;

66.  Recalls that it is the responsibility of Member States to decide on their specific energy mix, the aim being to lower carbon emissions and dependence on fuels vulnerable to price changes; points out that the Member States and the Commission should ensure that the highest safety standards are applied to new and current nuclear power plants, both inside and outside the Union;

67.  Considers that research into nuclear fusion as a source of energy for the future should continue, subject to compliance with budgetary principles;

68.  Believes, with regard to those Member States which have chosen nuclear energy as a part of their energy mix, that the establishment of EU minimum standards for licensing and design certification for new nuclear power plants would be useful with a view to ensuring the highest possible degree of safety of the technology; believes the best available technology should always be used in new power plant construction projects; calls also for further EU measures to encourage the introduction of standards for sustainable radioactive waste management;

69.  Encourages and supports the construction of LNG terminals and interconnections, notably in countries most vulnerable to disruptions of gas supply, subject to a cost-benefit analysis and on condition that no distortion of competition and discrimination occurs; stresses the importance of further expansion of the European LNG fleet, thereby enhancing the EU's energy security; welcomes, in this context, the Commission's proposal to enhance cooperation on energy matters with the Gulf and Middle East countries;

70.  Believes that some rural parts of Europe have particular needs when it comes to energy supply, and, in that connection, invites the Member States to take these needs into account, for example by removing the barriers, including fiscal barriers, to local energy production, such as by means of micro-cogeneration;

71.  Considers that the strategy to restrict hard coal consumption in EU Member States should not be allowed to strengthen the gas import monopoly; restricting hard coal consumption in the energy sector must be conditional on effective diversification of gas supplies in the Member States so as to avoid reinforcing the raw materials monopoly;

Promote energy research and development and innovation

72.  Calls for the close monitoring and implementation of the SET-Plan and the identification of obstacles to the mobilisation of public and private investments; welcomes recent progress in launching the first four European Industrial Initiatives (EIIs) and the Joint Research Initiatives; calls for the other initiatives to be launched as soon as possible and calls on the Council to release the required funds; asks the Commission to provide stakeholders with transparent information on the financing options for SET-Plan initiatives;

73.  Welcomes the progress made by establishing the Joint Technology Initiatives; calls on the Commission to come forward with new, complementary EIIs as part of the SET-Plan in order to exploit the great potential of other renewables technology avenues, namely geothermal and solar thermal, hydropower and ocean energy, and to include the existing renewables heating and cooling platform; stresses the need to make EU budget resources available in order to finance these initiatives;

74.  Supports the development of cost-efficient new technologies for the forecasting of variations in energy production, demand-side management, electricity transmission and electricity storage (including the use of hydrogen and other fuel cells), which would make it possible to increase total base demand and improve the flexibility of a system with high levels of renewables and electric vehicles;

75.  Stresses the importance of skilled and qualified workers in the gas and electricity sector; therefore calls on the Commission to examine, in consultation with the social partners concerned, how to address and encourage vocational education and training;

76.  Emphasises that Europe should be at the cutting edge in the development of energy-related Internet technologies and low-carbon ICT applications; considers that enhanced support for innovation must always be accompanied by a reduction in the red tape confronting applicants; calls on the Commission to eliminate red tape by re-engineering Framework Programme procedures;

77.  Calls on the Commission to promote and support environmentally sound pilot projects in the EU for the exploitation of unconventional domestic energy sources; asks the Commission to assist Member States in carrying out geological surveys to determine the level of available shale gas reserves in the Union and to analyse and assess the economic and environmental viability of domestic shale gas; asks for this information to be included in any future long-term Union strategy;

78.  Believes that some countries, such as China, have assigned a strategic role to the development of a domestic renewable energy industry dedicated to exports and are therefore supporting local companies by granting them easy access to cheap capital and infrastructure; calls on the Commission to adopt a policy framework that would enhance the competitiveness and attractiveness of the European investment environment for the renewable energy industry;

79.  Believes that in the context of the transitional phase leading to the establishment of a sustainable economy by 2050, conventional and unconventional natural gases are a necessary source of energy that offer a quick and cost-efficient way of lowering emissions; research and development funds should be targeted on making these gases cleaner;

80.  Supports further cooperation between the Member States and the Commission on ensuring that the necessary incentives are provided for the development of a sustainable market for biomass, whilst taking the relevant biodiversity and food production issues into account;

81.  Believes that research and development in the area of energy technology innovation, with a particular focus on new, clean, sustainable and efficient energy technologies, should be a central priority of the new Eighth Framework Programme for Research and Development; strongly urges the Member States and Commission to prioritise this policy area in the next budget and multiannual financial framework; emphasises that the allocation methods should reflect the differing capabilities of Member States in the R&D sphere;

82.  Calls on the Commission to integrate sustainable transport into the energy strategy in a manner that exploits the full potential of all the various technologies, including by means of an adequate regulatory framework and an action plan on green vehicles, support for technological research and development, the removal of barriers to deployment of new (fuel) technologies, the setting of common standards (for example for rail transport and electric cars), ambitious standards for fossil fuel engines, the establishment of ‘green transport corridors’ through Europe, and the integration of modes of transport; particular attention should be paid to electric cars, in order to ensure that they can be driven and recharged easily throughout Europe and that their increased use is combined with the development of ‘intelligent’ electricity grids and storage systems, high levels of renewable energy production and the use of combined heat and power;

83.  Points out that research in the field of energy should contribute not only to greenhouse gas emissions reductions and to guaranteeing security of supply, but also to improving the competitiveness of European industry; in this regard, believes that standardisation efforts involving the EU's strategic partners (such as China, Japan, India, Russia and the US) as regards new low-carbon energy technologies, including electric vehicles, are vital to ensure that European innovations are fully tradable on the international market; with a view to ensuring the efficient and fair transfer of technology, encourages the EU and its international trade partners to work towards opening up trade in sustainable technologies, the long-term aim being zero tariff barriers on green technology;

84.  Considers that an effective way of reducing energy consumption would be to undertake research into substitutes for conventional raw materials and construction materials whose production is less-energy intensive;

Putting consumers and citizens benefits at the centre of EU energy policy

85.  Underlines the importance of smart meters as a means of helping consumers to monitor more effectively their peak-rate consumption and improve energy efficiency within their homes; believes that smart metering and energy projects in general call for awareness- raising campaigns and educational programmes on energy efficiency in order to explain their benefits to the public; stresses that informing society about the benefits of smart metering is crucial to its success; points out that Parliament has called as a policy goal for 50% of homes in Europe to be fitted with smart meters by 2015 and an obligation on the part of the Member States to guarantee that at least 80% of consumers are equipped with intelligent metering systems by 2020(10) ;

86.  Considers that informed customers and members of the public can influence the market by taking conscious decisions; welcomes, therefore, initiatives such as the European Nuclear Energy Forum (ENEF), in which a wide range of stakeholders can discuss matters of shared interest;

87.  Considers that the thermal upgrading of buildings and the material and energy recycling of urban and industrial waste could produce considerable benefits for consumers;

88.  Supports initiatives to facilitate the adaptation of human resources needs to the move towards a low-CO2 energy mix;

89.  Asks the Commission to monitor and report to Parliament on the implementation of the third internal market package as regards national measures to prevent energy poverty, and reminds the Member States of their obligations under existing legal provisions;

90.  Calls for the adoption of the highest possible safety standards for all sources of energy, inter alia through cooperation programmes between Member States, in order to address public reservations and promote greater public acceptance; calls, at the same time, for increasing public awareness of the importance of adequate electricity supplies and the need for new power-generation and transmission infrastructure; supports campaigns to enhance consumer awareness of the energy savings available to them in everyday life and existing mechanisms, such as energy advice services, in order to bring about a behavioural change;

91.  Notes that annual consumer switching rates vary among the Member States between zero and 20%; stresses that difficulties in comparing offers on the market and the lack of information constitute barriers to switching and effective retail market competition; recalls that under the third energy package it is the duty of national regulatory authorities to ensure that the consumer protection measures in the directives are effective and enforced;

92.  Reminds the energy industry of its obligations under the third energy package to introduce clear and understandable energy invoices; believes that the Commission's Citizens' Energy Forum templates for invoices contain the minimum standard information required for each energy invoice and should be used as a basis for transparent energy invoices across the Union;

93.  Encourages the Commission and the Member States, in order to make the achievement of the long-term goals easier and more cost-effective, seriously to consider moving to the 30% CO2 reduction target for 2020 so as to ensure that the ETS market will function as a catalyst for investment in cleaner production processes and cleaner energy sources;

94.  Reiterates that the new energy policy must support the long-term objective of reducing the EU's greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95% by 2050;

95.  Urges the Commission, in this regard, to compile analyses of long-term activities, including in the area of supply and demand, as well as the real risks and costs of supply failure compared with storage capacity, supply diversity and the costs thereof; the analyses should also cover long-term strategic and energy policy developments in the EU and, not least, assessments of how the EU can avoid supply failure;

96.  Believes, looking ahead to the Cancun Summit, that the ΕU should be at the forefront of efforts to achieve a comprehensive, legally binding and ambitious agreement, demonstrating that it is able to speak with one voice and confirm its leading role; in this context, encourages the Commission and the Member States to rethink their earlier proposal as part of an international agreement on CO2 emissions reduction targets, in order to make the achievement of the long-term goals easier and more cost-efficient;

o
o   o

97.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the governments of the Member States.

(1) OJ C 67 E, 18.3.2010, p. 16.
(2) OJ L 211, 14.8.2009.
(3) OJ L 140, 5.6.2009.
(4) OJ C 219 E, 28.8.2008, p. 206.
(5) OJ L 200 31.07.2009, p. 31.
(6) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2010)0064.
(7) 9744/10.
(8) OJ L 114, 27.4.2006, p. 64.
(9) OJ L 52, 21.2.2004, p. 50.
(10) Own-initiative report of 25 March 2010 on a new Digital Agenda for Europe: 2015.eu (2009/2225(INI)) and own-initiative report of 14 April 2010 on mobilising Information and Communication Technologies to facilitate the transition to an energy-efficient, low-carbon economy (2009/2228(INI)).

An nuashonrú is déanaí: 2 Márta 2012Fógra dlíthiúil