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Conclusions I Fit for 55 in a context of crisis, unpredictability, and urgency:

What to expect from the next round of NECPs, the digitalization in energy action plan and new technology solutions?

On the 20th of October 2022, 11.30-12.30 currENT hosted an event to discuss the Fit for 55 in the context of crisis, unpredictability, and urgency and What to expect from the next round of NECPs, the digitalisation in energy action plan and new technology solutions?

During this webinar currENT, the voice of innovative grid technologies in Europe shared its analysis of the NECPs and investigated how innovative grid technologies and efficient infrastructure are considered while providing recommendations for the upcoming revisions 

Leading representatives from ministries, industry, as well as the European Commission, presented their views on what to expect from the next round of NECPs, followed by a Q&A with the audience. Below you can find the presentations, the recording, and a recap of the discussion. 

The complete webinar recordings, including the presentation, are available below. 

Layla Sawyer, Secretary General of currENT, introduced and moderated the webinar.

Claude Turmes: Energy Minister of Luxembourg, shared his perspective on how NECPs, the digitalization in energy action plans and technology could help mitigate the current crisis. During his speech, Claude Turmes emphasized the need to speed up electrification dramatically, which will require further investment in renewables and scaling up investments in a smart grid. Claude Turmes also stated that “in the fight against climate change, climate scientists have stated that the Western EU Energy system, must be completely carbon neutral by 2035”. Claude Turmes, stated that therefore now more than ever upgrading the existing electricity infrastructure with new IT and smart devices is needed.

Paula Abreu Marques: Head of Unit at DG ENER, shared her perspective on the guidance and the overall role of the NECPs. In her speech, Paula Abreu Marques highlighted that due to the ever-changing environment, creating NECPs is a very challenging task for the Member States. However, while challenging, Paula Abreu Marques stated that the NECP exercise is important for three main reasons, which include (1) NECPs benefit the whole of the Union, especially with regards to integration (2) It provides a sense of predictability in uncertain times (3) beyond emergency measures we need to also increase preparedness and adapt to crisis. Paula Abreu Marques stated that the European Commission will be publishing guidance for the Member States with concrete suggestions, including the need for innovative grid technologies. 

Giles Dickson: CEO of WindEurope, elaborate on how NECPs, the digitalization in the energy action plan and new technologies can support the urgent uptake of wind energy. In his concluding arguments, Giles Dickson highlighted that companies operating within the wind energy sector are facing several challenges such as bottlenecking and a lack of production capabilities, which are continuously forcing these companies to lose money within this sector. Therefore, Giles Dickson recommended that for the EU to continue on its path to its 2050 targets, the wind energy sector must be given more importance, through (1) Enshrining renewable energy as an ‘over-riding public interest. (2) Confirming the EU legal principle that when it comes to species it should boil down to the population of the species, rather than to every single organism and (3) The 2-year deadline for consultation starts ticking after the first submission of the permit, and not after the last permit, reducing the planning time and promoting the fast implementation of renewables. 

Susanne Nies: Board chair of currENT and General Manager of Germany Smart Wires shared the results of currENT’s NECP paper which highlighted which EU Member States are currently considering incorporating innovative grid technologies in their upcoming NECPs. Susanne Nies continued to highlight the next steps for emergency action, especially in light of skyrocketing congestion costs in Europe. During her introduction, Susanne Nies also highlighted currENT’s seven recommendations for the NECPs and for the present, which vary from further efficient use of the current infrastructure to the European Commission, assessing the benefits of innovative grid technologies for the next two winters and for reaching climate neutrality.