European Commission outlines energy union framework

EUROPE: The European Commission has outlined its plans over the next five years to build an energy union.

Maros Sefcovic presented the energy union framework in Brussels

The plans include a new renewable energy package to be introduced in the next two years, which would guarantee the 2030 energy targets are met.

The EU has agreed the target of at least 27% at EU level for renewable energy by 2030.

Commission vice president for energy union Maros Sefcovic and commissioner for climate action and energy Miguel Arias Canete presented the framework in Brussels today.

European Wind Energy Assocation (EWEA) CEO Thomas Becker said today's announcement shows wind power will be important to the European energy mix beyond 2020.

Becker said: "These are positive signs coming out of the commission. We are seeing recommendations for a shift away from a fossil-fuel-dominated economy to more sustainable, secure and decarbonised sources of energy."

The energy union is a key pillar of Jean Claude Juncker's commission, which was installed in November. It aims to increase an integrated energy market as opposed to 28 separate regulatory frameworks of member states.

It also includes measures to reduce reliance on imported energy, emissions and costs. The emissions trading system will also be overhauled.

A minimum interconnection target has been set at 10% of installed electricity production capacity per member state, which should be achieved by 2020, with a view to increase to 15% by 2030.

Canete said the energy union would form the bloc's contribution to the UN climate agreement to be finalised in Paris this year.