EU Energy Market Policy: Local and Regional Experience and Policy Recommendations

Local and regional authorities (LRAs) deal in many ways with the range of subjects under the Energy Union strategic framework such as electricity market design, energy efficiency, energy performance of buildings and renewable energy. LRAs are key actors in the conception and implementation of EU common policies and legislation. They act inter alia as licensing authorities, owners of public buildings, energy utilities and RES or CHP installations, purchasers of services and energy, etc. They are responsible for a large part of the economic structures in their cities and regions and have many direct tasks and responsibilities in the field of education. LRAs are closest to citizens, energy consumers as well as initiators of local and regional sustainable energy projects and their needs and problems. Local governments play a significant role in influencing energy systems; the designers and financial supporters of these systems, however, mostly are national and international bodies.

So, while there is a lot that local and regional entities can do on their own, there are many areas where there is a need of support from the national and European level as well as a need to take into account the specific conditions on the local and regional level in order not to create (additional) obstacles when it comes to the promotion of sustainable energy on the local and regional level. The question in this study was to identify challenges and risks, and ways that the local and regional example overcame the challenges posed.

This report contains three parts:
Part 1: overview of the key latest documents and principles of EU energy market policy, with the most relevant provisions in these policies for LRAs. Analysis of main criticisms on EU Energy Market Policy from key industrial, societal and expert organisations at the EU level, containing relevance for the local and regional level and checking with the CoR’s Opinions.
Part 2: Local and regional case studies having successfully coped with the current shortcomings of the energy markets (or have failed to do so).
Part 3: Market regulatory and economic problems for local and regional energy efficiency initiatives and projects.

The report ends with conclusions on local and regional experience in implementation of EU energy market acquis and policy recommendations with regard to the consideration of the role of LRAs in future EU policy initiatives related to the energy market, and notably to energy efficiency and renewable energy/state aid.

CE Delft carried out the research together with Ecologic Institut and ICLEI Europe. CE Delft was mostly responsible for Part 1 and 2.

The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) is the European Union’s assembly of regional and local representatives. Through the CoR, EU local and regional authorities can have a say on the development of EU laws that impact regions and cities.