For the people and the planet

The climate and energy policy challenges for 500 million EU citizens can only be mastered through high efforts since Europe aims to become the first climate neutral continent. The basis for this plan is the “European Green Deal” and an EU climate protection law that is supposed to anchor climate neutrality by 2050. Wien Energy welcomes this ambitious commitment and shows with its innovative flagship projects how CO2 savings can be achieved in the energy sector.

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Background information

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has made climate protection and the European Green Deal the top priority of her five-year term. Around 50 measures should make Europe the global leader in climate action, requiring far-reaching adjustments to the relevant regulations. In a first step, the CO2 reduction targets for 2030 will be adjusted.

In order to make Europe climate neutral by 2050, the CO2 reduction target will be raised to 50-55% by 2030. Moreover, the emissions trading system (ETS) is going to be extended to the shipping and transport sector – if possible. Airlines should receive fewer free certificates as part of the ETS. Further, there will be a new strategy for sustainable and smart mobility (zero-emission mobility), including emission reductions for the mobility sector as well as sustainability criteria for electric car batteries and public transport.

Accompanying new legislative proposals (such as the Climate Protection Act), the existing directives on energy efficiency and renewable energies are to be adapted again. As part of the “Clean Energy Package”, these directives only came into force in 2018. There will also be changes to the Energy Tax Directive, which determines framework regulations for the taxation of energy products and electricity. As part of a decarbonization package to be presented in the second quarter of 2021, measures for the smart integration of electricity, gas, heat, transport and industry (sector coupling) will be defined.

In the next ten years, the EU Commission wants to mobilize a trillion euros for climate action in Europe. The European Investment Bank is going to become the first climate bank:

  • EUR 503 billions are to come from the EU budget.
  • EUR 279 billions of investments are made available through the InvestEU program.
  • The member states should also contribute around EUR 114 billions to the energy transition.
  • After all, EUR 143 billions from the Just Transition Mechanism will be available by 2030 to help getting 237,000 employees out of coal.

Financial support for the construction or decommissioning of nuclear power plants is expressly excluded.

Our demands

Wien Energie welcomes this very ambitious package of measures to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. Wien Energie already offers environmentally friendly and efficient solutions for the energy supply of a growing city, requiring corresponding framework conditions at European level.

The secure supply of energy for all EU citizens must be the top priority of the European energy policy. However, the European Green Deal mentions this important issue only at one single point. Maintaining the European security of supply will become even more crucial with regard to national coal exit plans. Therefore, cogeneration plants make an indispensable contribution to ensuring the European electricity and heat supply. The combined generation saves primary energy and CO2. For this reason, it must be given a corresponding role in the European Green Deal.

The challenges posed by the energy system transformation can only be mastered by taking a holistic approach. We are calling for district heating to be given greater recognition as an important technology and as a way of contributing to the success of sector coupling. Therefore, we are awaiting the proposals of the decarbonization package that is going to be presented in 2021. Investments and subsidies for the expansion of generation capacities for green gas (biomethane, hydrogen, synthetic gas) must be provided.

The process of thermal waste recycling in Vienna is state-of-the-art, making a positive contribution to energy efficiency targets by supplying district heating. Investments in such energy efficiency measures are therefore necessary for the energy transition to succeed. We welcome the fact that the Taxonomy Regulation now classifies investments in thermal waste treatment as “sustainable”, if – with the exception of the incineration of non-recyclable, hazardous waste – it does not lead to an increase of thermal waste recycling activities. This is an important step for a positive perception of thermal waste recycling as part of the circular economy.

Brigitte Ederer

“Coupling and ultimately integrating the electricity, gas, heat and mobility sectors will be a decisive step towards creating a climate-neutral energy system. Construction the new coupling points in particular, such as power-to-gas facilities, will cost money. The associated investments in the network must be reflected in the tariffs. Another important point is that the use of gas continues to be made possible and encouraged, as green gas will play a not insignificant role as a storage medium and for the heating sector.”

Brigitte Ederer, Director of the Forum for Supply Security (Forum Versorgungssicherheit)

Further information

Your contact person

Yolande Kyoni
Yolande Kyoni

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