Policy Briefs

Policy Brief #2017-01 The Winter Package: are its objectives always consistent?

Published on 06 March 2017

The Winter Package: are its objectives always consistent?

by Anna Creti, Jacques Percebois and Boris Solier

“Clean Energy for All Europeans”, better known as the “Winter Package”, released on 30 November 2016 is in line with the three Directives that have come into force since 1996 and various texts published in 2015 and 2016, including the Climate and Energy Package. Its overall aim is to speed up the integration of electricity markets in Europe by introducing more solidarity-based governance rules, pursuing the integration of renewable energies and energy efficiency efforts, and enabling consumers to participate more effectively in the market and to enjoy greater rights.

European consumers must be able to access ‘clean, secure and affordable’ energy. However, the ambitions of the document – over 1000 pages with 4000 pages of annexes – are modest with regard to the establishment of a high carbon price. Moreover, certain questions, such as the impact of a high proportion of renewables on the functioning of “merit order”, are not raised. The recommendations of the Winter Package (WP) are expected to be adopted in 2017 and to come into force in the period 2020-21. But the objectives sought are not always clear and sometimes raise questions of consistency.

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