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Microgeneration: The great potential of small scale energy generation

EWPA's blog - eteap September 20, 2013

The great potential of small scale electricity and heat generation and the actions that need to be taken were the key issues raised in a motion for a resolution adopted by the Parliament on Thursday.

“The European Commission and member states should open their eyes to ‘power from the people’, the potential of citizens producing energy. Microgeneration empowers consumers to take the lead in addressing the energy transition, while reducing the amount of energy they have to purchase and thus preventing energy poverty” said the rapporteur Ms Judith Merkies (S&D, NL). “Although the EP has called on the Commission to propose incentives to stimulate small-scale energy generation, little attention has been given to microgeneration so far. This is why the European Parliament has taken the lead on this. Small-scale renewable energy generation is a cornerstone of the future energy policy. The EP calls on the Commission to look into the potential of microgeneration in the future and take into account the role of microgeneration in future European energy legislation, such as the 2030 climate and energy package.”

The potential of micro-generation

Small scale and decentralised energy generation represents an opportunity for households and SMEs in both urban and rural areas, says the text, adding that micro-generation can empower consumers to become active agents in the energy sector while gaining more control over their energy use.

MEPs note that the large-scale uptake of microgeneration can contribute to the transition from the historical centralised energy system to a more decentralised and flexible system needed to achieve EU’s energy and climate objectives.

Existing barriers

The adopted text refers to existing barriers that limit the larger-scale deployment of microgeneration technologies, such as the high up-front investment costs, the complexity of administrative procedures and the lack of awareness regarding the energy and cost savings offered by these technologies.

Actions to be taken

MEPs call on the Commission to draw up recommendations based on best practices for regulators and system operators on how to simplify and shorten the administrative procedures with a particular focus on the setting up of one-stop-shop procedures. They also ask the Commission to carry out an assessment of the potential capacity for microgeneration and to ensure that microgeneration is eligible for financing under EU funds, including the Structural Funds, from 2014-2020 onwards.

All existing barriers in national laws must be removed in order to facilitate access to finance for individual and cooperative micro-generation projects and create new targeted financial instruments such as micro-credits, says the text.

Original text: European Parliament press release

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