In a report adopted today by the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE), members of the European Parliament stressed that the European Union's internal energy market should be designed to empower consumers. The report, building on the European Commission's communication Making the internal energy market work, identifies a series of concrete enablers in order to turn end-energy consumers into "active informed consumers and prosumers", such as voluntary demand-side response, decentralised storage solutions and aggregation strategies. Members of the ITRE Committee also call on the Commission and the Member States to "promote incentives to unlock the untapped possibilities of micro-generation".
"We welcome this recognition that end-energy consumers should receive more attention in the debate about the completion of the European energy market", said Alexandre Roesch, Head of Regulatory Affairs for the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA). "Paradoxically, this has somehow been neglected in recent years. In a period of increasing energy prices, it is now time to seriously consider all available options so as to accompany final consumers and businesses towards sustainable and competitive solutions. Being able to produce one's own electricity in order to cover one's own needs definitely makes sense".
While the report urges the Member States and the local and regional authorities to "aim for a prosumer market", this will also require an active role of energy suppliers and distribution system operators. "Empowering consumers does not mean that they will turn away from the power system. On the contrary, classical suppliers will have to be more active than in the past and develop new services, combining energy savings programmes and decentralised generation offers, in order to help the consumers reap the benefits of a liberalised energy market", said Roesch.
The report will now be submitted to the plenary session of the European Parliament, which should vote in September.