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We need a shock plan to boost renewables and energy efficiency measures, say S&Ds


19 May 2022



The Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament welcome REPowerEU - the European Commission’s plan to reduce dependence on Russian fossil fuels and fast forward towards the green transition. S&Ds call for a new recovery plan to finance the energy transition, similar to the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), created for the purpose of tackling the economic consequences from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mohammed Chahim MEP, S&D vice-president responsible for the energy aspects of the Green Deal, said:

“With REPowerEU, we take a much needed step forward in reducing our energy dependence on Russia. With REPowerEU we can already reduce our fossil fuel imports from Russia by 1/3 this year and stop them completely by 2027. However, to make sure we don’t increase our greenhouse gas emissions in Europe, we must diversify our energy imports away from fossil fuels as soon as possible and accelerate our clean energy transition. The development of renewable energy storage facilities and increased interconnectivity between Member States will be crucial in supplying all the Member States with enough energy in the future. This will still require a lot of work and investment.

“The mobilisation of almost €300 billion to speed up and scale-up the clean energy transition is therefore very much needed. Not only money, but also streamlining the permitting procedures can greatly increase the speed and scale-up of the clean energy transition. In the Netherlands for example, currently it can take many years to get a permit for renewable energy projects, if you get one at all. With the new guidelines, we hope to limit the time of permitting procedures for wind and solar energy significantly. At the same time, saving energy is the quickest and cheapest way to combat the current energy crisis and stop funding Putin’s war. The more energy we save, the less we need to import.”

Dan Nica MEP, S&D spokesperson in the European Parliament’s committee on industry, research and energy, said:

“We welcome the efforts and the strategy of the Commission to stop Europe’s energy dependency on Russia. However, we regret that there’s no clear timeline with dates written in black and white for this to happen. The European Parliament has already stated we need these efforts now! To achieve this, we need a shock plan to boost renewables and energy efficiency measures while, at the same time, we have to work on the missing links - interconnectors and storage facilities.  For this reason, we need far more resources than Member States have now at their disposal.  The current RRF was meant for the specific purpose of recovering from the pandemic crisis. We are now facing a new and different crisis and this is why we need a new recovery plan to finance the energy transition. Paying the price of our energy independence cannot be a burden on the shoulders of our citizens with low incomes or on the small and medium-enterprises.”