Brussels, 4 July 2023
Last Friday, 30 June, marked the deadline for EU Member States to submit their
revised draft National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP), before submitting the final
plans in 2024. The NECPs are key documents for determining how each Member State
foresees to meet its 2030 climate and energy targets, and a central governance
instrument for achieving climate neutrality by 2050 under the European Green Deal.
Regrettably, only six Member States have submitted their plans on time: Croatia,
Denmark, Finland, Italy, Slovenia and Spain. EREF underlines the importance of
Member States’ commitment – not only to respect the deadline given the remaining
time until 2030 but also to submit ambitious, comprehensive, and coherent draft
In this regard, EREF also calls on the European Commission to fulfil its task to
rigorously oversee and ensure compliance with this process, in line with the
The urgency to transition to a secure, stable, and affordable energy sector that is 100%
powered and fuelled by renewables was convincingly demonstrated by the energy
crisis that followed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as well as the many (and to some
extent fragmented) emergency interventions undertaken by EU and national
authorities. This includes the currently debated Electricity Market Design reform, which
has once again highlighted that a rapid transformation to economies that are based on
renewable energy systems is not only a premise due our planet’s climate, but also
required to foster energy security and competitive, innovative and clean European
industries. This is not just a matter of policy preference — it is a vital step towards
achieving future-proof European democratic societies.
With renewables providing for affordable and reliable energy, EREF urges Member
States to set highly ambitious targets in their NECPs and design effective, equitable
policies and fi nancing plans to accelerate decarbonisation through all available
renewable energy sources, from wind to solar to bioenergy, to build resilient, flexible,
and sustainable energy infrastructures.
The NECPs also should be the sounding board to accelerate permitting procedures for
renewable projects and stride forward towards a more sustainable and renewable
energy future as of the highest public interest beside peace for Europe.
With the tremendous potential that energy communities and active citizens offer in
contributing to reach the EU’s energy efficiency and renewable targets, EREF
underlines the importance of transforming consumers into ‘energy citizens’. Member
States should acknowledge that energy citizenship is not only a crucial element in
developing public endorsement but also boosts social and economic development.
Member States should not fall into the trap of using fossil gas as ‘transition bridges’.
These investments risk lock-in effects and high energy prices. In parallel, they should
not keep supporting the operation (or even worse: the new development) of nuclear
energy installations, which prevents establishing a future oriented decentralised
renewable energy driven market framework, which is fit for very high shares of
The continuous decrease in prices for key renewable technologies facilitates higher
investments in renewable energy, grids enhancements and solutions that involve
flexibility, storage and demand response. Such promising trends present an
opportunity for policymakers – through the NECPs, Member States can make proof of
climate commitment and formulate decarbonisation pathways, including through
ambitious renewable energy targets, assuring a steady pool for qualifi ed jobs.
In this endeavour, EREF is ready to work with Member States and the European
Commission throughout the current revision and their implementation in the upcoming
years. By working together, we can build an EU energy sector that helps us achieve our
climate objectives, ensures energy security, and fuels sustainable economic
For more information, please contact
Dr. Dörte Fouquet
EREF Secretary General