Ministers discussed innovation in the energy sector which has the potential to boost Europe's economic recovery
EU energy ministers had an exchange of views on the economic recovery after the Covid-19 crisis and the European Green Deal, with a focus on innovative energy solutions.
In the discussion, ministers were invited to share information on:
-The energy technology investments that ministers were planning in order to ensure the achievement of 2030 targets and the energy transition, namely in the next two years and in the context of the recovery;
-The challenges ministers expected during the recovery in general, and in particular while using the instruments of the recovery package for supporting energy investments and innovation.
The COVID crisis has demonstrated how quickly innovation can penetrate our daily life, if there is a clear need. I believe that in the energy sector the available innovative technology solutions in renewables, energy storage, smart buildings or electro-mobility can make a similar rapid leap and spin our economies while supporting local businesses.
Tomislav Ćorić, Minister of Environment and Energy of Croatia
Ministers agreed that innovative energy technologies such as smart grids, hydrogen (particularly from renewable sources) and offshore as well as onshore renewable energy will be of great importance for Europe's job creation, competitiveness and decarbonisation. Investments in the renovation of buildings will have a key role for the broader economic recovery. In this context ministers expressed that they looked forward to the Commission's renovation wave strategy.
As regards smart sector integration technologies, especially hydrogen, several ministers underlined their importance and stressed that they were looking forward to the Commission's smart sector integration and hydrogen strategies.
Several ministers mentioned that a large part of the additional investment needs related to energy, climate and transport were already set out in the member states' national energy and climate plans (NECPs). They suggested that some of these energy-related investments could be frontloaded, contributing thus to economic recovery.
A specific priority for the Croatian presidency was reinforcing the support to clean energy islands. Minister Ćorić used the opportunity to thank ministers for their contributions made over the past months during the process of creating the Memorandum of Split.
Under any other business, the European Commission updated ministers on the state of play regarding national energy and climate plans and on the revised Commission work programme. The Lithuanian delegation informed ministers on the implementation of nuclear safety recommendations outlined in the EU peer review report of the Belarus NPP stress tests.
Finally, the incoming German presidency presented its work programme in the area of energy for the second half of 2020.
The meeting was chaired by Tomislav Ćorić, Minister of Environment and Energy of Croatia. The Commission was represented by Commissioner Kadri Simson.
-15 June 2020