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July 2020

EQUITY AND ENERGY POVERTY

Pushing water uphill: Putting power behind the renovation wave

The race is on. Europe has committed to achieving a net-zero economy by 2050. Buildings are crucial to keeping this goal within reach. We need ambitious new policy drivers across Europe to significantly increase the rate and depth of building renovations. Minimum energy performance standards are a powerful option, and the European Commission’s renovation wave provides the perfect home for them. This policy tool can lower carbon emissions, increase efficiency and improve citizens’ health and well-being.

   
   

ELECTRIC VEHICLES

EV charging infrastructure in Europe

Which must come first, more electric vehicles or more infrastructure to charge electric vehicles? It’s a complicated discussion at best. Europe needs a common vision for building a competitive market for EV charging services, starting with Member States defining an “essential network.” Decision-makers have the opportunity to ensure that EV users have ample, convenient access to smart charging infrastructure. Dr. Julia Hildermeier outlines a clear path for policymakers and planners.

   
   

EQUITY AND ENERGY POVERTY

Getting off gas: Future risks for energy-poor households

The European Green Deal, the European Commission’s forthcoming gas package and other route maps to decarbonisation offer new opportunities to reduce Europe’s dependence on natural gas. At the same time, clean energy programmes and incentives encourage households to switch to electric or district heating to keep their homes warm. Programmes to support energy-poor households, however, often rely on gas to reduce fuel costs. Louise Sunderland explains the serious implications of this shortsighted solution.

   
   

POWER MARKETS

Getting Spain’s power system transformation right

Spain has set some of the most ambitious renewable energy targets in Europe, aiming for a 74% share by 2030. To meet reliability targets as it decarbonises, Spain will need more flexibility in its power system. Christos Kolokathis recommends power market reforms to bolster flexibility, such as improved design of the wholesale energy and balancing market, further integration of the Spanish market into the continental market, and an enhanced role for demand response.

   
   
FURTHER NOTES

GLOBAL INSIGHTS

Synchronising the electric sector regulatory response to COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic is influencing every aspect of the global economy, and electric utilities are seeing significant effects. Jim Lazar details the factors affecting utility costs and sales in the United States and the considerations regulators should keep in mind when addressing COVID-19 impacts.

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RAP IN THE MEDIA

The UK should “focus full speed ahead on energy efficiency and electrification” over the next 10 years. — Dr. Jan Rosenow

   
 


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