According to the text adopted by the Budgets and Economic and Monetary Affairs committees, EU countries that submit an amended recovery and resilience plan after the entry into force of this proposal will be required to include measures to save energy, produce clean energy and diversify energy supplies, as foreseen in the RePowerEU plan.
Boost independence and fight energy poverty
MEPs amended the proposal to ensure that the new REPowerEU chapters include measures to reduce energy vulnerabilities that would potentially affect the next few winter seasons. The new rules would cover measures starting from 1 February 2022 onwards.
MEPs also agreed that measures included in the RePowerEU chapters should prioritise investments to tackle energy poverty for vulnerable households, SMEs and micro-enterprises.
MEPs agreed that the additional EUR 20 billion in grants, proposed by the Commission, should come from an earlier auctioning of national emission allowances under the EU Emissions Trading System, instead of using allowances from the Market Stability Reserve.
MEPs also call on the Commission to identify additional sources to complement the financing of REPowerEU actions, including by providing the flexibility to use unspent funds, particularly from the period 2014-2020.
They propose that these additional grants are distributed to member states taking into account their energy dependency rate, the increase of energy-related costs for households and the share of fossil fuels in gross inland energy consumption.
MEPs also agreed member states should be allowed to ask for pre-financing, up to 20% to finance its REPowerEU chapters and that the input from regional authorities, NGOs and social partners should be taken into account when implementing the new measures.
Cross border measures and climate
MEPs agreed that the “do no significant harm” principle should apply to the REPowerEU chapters, unless several cumulative conditions are met and only for measures in operation by 31 December 2024.
Finally, they call on EU countries to ensure that at least 35% of their spending under REPowerEU chapters is allocated to measures that have a multi-country dimension or effect, even if carried out by one EU country, and unless the Commission grants a derogation under specific circumstances.
Siegfried MUREŞAN (EPP, RO), co-rapporteur, said: “The Russian invasion of Ukraine is affecting all of us: citizens, businesses and our economies as a whole. To emerge stronger from this crisis, the EU needs to achieve energy independence and security. REPowerEU is key to this objective. This is why we must have the REPowerEU legislation in place and allow investments by early next year”.
Eider GARDIAZABAL RUBIAL (S&D, ES), co-rapporteur, said: “We have been working to make RePowerEU contribute to support our citizens to bring energy bills down and tackle energy poverty by financing the necessary investments, notably for energy renovation and renewable energies, and accelerate the green transition. This should be one of the first steps towards an ambitious, large-scale EU winter package for our citizens”.
Dragoș PÎSLARU (Renew, RO), co-rapporteur, said: “Eight months have passed since Russia started a war and just a couple of months closer to a cold winter. REPowerEU is the tool through which we can restore citizens’ confidence once again that the European Union will find solutions to current challenges. We will accelerate the use of renewables, we will tackle energy poverty and we will invest in more energy efficiency for our vulnerable citizens and entrepreneurs”.
The legislative text, adopted on Tuesday with 80 votes to 6, and 4 abstentions, will be debated and voted on by the full House during the first November plenary session. The outcome of the plenary vote will constitute a negotiating mandate for the upcoming talks with EU governments.