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Energy Policy needs Citizen Power

EU Energy Policy needs Citizen Power

24 March 2010: In a landmark conference yesterday, jointly hosted in the European Parliament by leading MEPs and campaigning organisation Micropower Europe, there was a unanimous call for a consumer-led energy revolution, with microgeneration at its heart.

Conference co-chair Judith Merkies MEP said “everything starts and ends with citizens’ participation. We need a change in policy to turn the neighbours literally green with envy”, whilst other panellists and delegates strongly supported calls for a Commission-sponsored Microgeneration Strategy for Europe.

Conference co-chair Fiona Hall MEP said “at a time when the EU member States are preparing their national action plans on renewable energy, there’s never been a more important moment for looking at what we need to do to remove the barriers to making microgeneration as widespread as possible in the EU.”

A high-ranking European Commission official invited Micropower Europe to contribute its own ideas on what a European Microgeneration Strategy would involve, for the Commission’s consideration as part of its review of the Energy Efficiency Action Plan.

The European Commission also identified the need for robust research evidence to understand the full potential of the microgeneration sector to contribute towards EU energy policy’s short, medium and long term goals.

Claude Turmes MEP said “microgeneration must help the EU to move from a 20% to a 30% target for renewable energy by 2020”

An official event of EU Sustainable Energy Week, the conference was set up to discuss the case for a pan-European Strategy for Microgeneration, the purpose of which is to:

Engage citizens in their use of energy, through the uptake of microgeneration technologies;

Undertake significant steps to reach out to EU citizens and explain that individual actions in each home can have as big an impact on climate change as activities by governments and industry;

Undertake a comprehensive review of EU legislation to remove barriers and identify positive legislative measures to stimulate a mass market microgeneration sector and to;

Set out any legislative changes needed to break down current market barriers to the uptake of microgeneration, and create a positive regulatory environment for the microgeneration sector to help reduce green house gases, boost renewable energy production, and help with economic regeneration through the creation of thousands of new skilled green jobs in the European Union.

Charles Bradshaw-Smith, Head of Innovation at E.ON and President of Micropower Europe, said “this landmark conference marks a turning point in EU policy development for the microgeneration industry. There is almost universal support for microgeneration playing a key role and we look forward to working with the Commission by sharing ideas on how a Microgeneration Strategy for Europe can help this important industry take its proper place in the EU energy mix, to help secure a sustainable future, both economically and environmentally”.

CONTACT: Micropower Europe

NAME: Alexandre Delacoux

ADDRESS: Level 20 Bastion Tower, Place du Champs de Mars 5, 1050 - Brussels

TEL: +32 (0) 2 550 3661

FAX: +32 (0) 2 550 3535