Working towards more innovative and competitive national energy and climate plans – analysis of first drafts of national energy and climate plans

Written by Energy Agency Styria

Member States are required, under the new regulation on the governance of the energy union and climate action (part of the Clean energy for all Europeans package), which entered into force on 24 December 2018, to establish a 10-year national energy and climate plan (NECP) for the period from 2021 to 2030. In July 2019, the Commission published its assessment of the first drafts of the plans, which were handed in by the end of 2018. Final versions of the NECP must be submitted by Member States by the end of 2019.

The NECPs need to cover the five dimensions of the energy union:

  • Security, solidarity and trust
  • A fully integrated internal energy market
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Climate action – decarbonizing the economy
  • Research, innovation and competitiveness

In its analysis of the draft national plans, the Commission looked at their aggregated contribution to meeting the EU's Energy Union objectives and 2030 targets. As they stand, the draft NECPs fall short both in terms of renewables and energy efficiency contributions. For renewables, the gap could be as big as 1.6 percentage points. For energy efficiency, the gap can be as big as 6.2 percentage points (if considering primary energy consumption) or 6 percentage points (if considering final energy consumption).

As already mentioned, the final versions of the NECPs must be finished by the end of 2019. The Commission's recommendations and detailed assessments aim to help Member States finalise their plans by the end of 2019, and to implement them effectively in the years to come. The national plans should provide clarity and predictability for businesses and the financial sector to stimulate necessary private investments. The plans will also facilitate Member States' programming of funding from the next multi-annual financial framework 2021-2027.

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