National energy
and climate plans

REACHING EUROPE'S 2030 CLIMATE AND ENERGY GOALS

EU countries are required to develop National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs) as key instruments for the EU to deliver on 2030 climate and energy targets.

The NECPs are the framework for member states to outline their climate and energy targets, policies and measures to reach the 32% renewable energy target by 2030. The NECPs are crucial for the solar sector because each member state will set specific targets for solar deployment and define how they plan to achieve it.

SolarPower Europe is monitoring the National Energy and Climate Plans closely to ensure that governments’ ambitions live up to the huge potential of solar in Europe.

What are the National Energy and Climate Plans?

Following the adoption of the Regulation on the Governance of the Energy Union in December 2018, member states must define their own ambitions to reduce CO2 emissions, increase energy efficiency and deploy renewable energies by 2030. National ambitions as well as the means to achieve them are now being defined.

The NECPs are based on a common template defined by the Clean Energy Package negotiations. They offer a unique opportunity to streamline climate action and provide long-term stability to solar investors. Each EU country will outline its ambitions for solar development (by 2022, 2025, 2027 and 2030) and inform the solar sector about the enabling framework driving the achievement of these targets – tendering, support schemes, self-consumption schemes, corporate renewable Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) and energy communities.

The drafting follows a continuous process: on the 30th of June 2019, the European Commission provides the first feedback to member states on their provisional National Energy and Climate Plans, and provides, where needed, additional recommendations to be considered before the final submission of the NECPs in December 2019.

Why are NECPs important for solar?

The NECPs are crucial for solar. They will form the basis for the EU-28’s energy policy and strengthen the business environment for solar investments in Europe – predictability, efficiency, and transparency.

Throughout the process, SolarPower Europe is working very closely with its National Association partners and with the European Commission to ensure that the ambitions outlined by national governments reflect the significant potential of solar energy in Europe and that the political and regulatory framework is fit for purpose.

As the lowest cost and most easily deployed clean energy technology, solar will help member states realise their full renewable potential and achieve a sustainable, inclusive, and cost-efficient energy transition.

Want to find out more about National Energy and Climate Plans and the EU-28’s climate targets?

Members of SolarPower Europe can download the NECP table, which gives an analysis of member states’ solar targets and policy measures, including auction schedule, power grid and markets, permitting and end-of-life, electrification, corporate renewable PPAs, research and innovation.

If you are not a member of SolarPower Europe and would like to receive the NECP overview, please contact Daniel Dang.

National Energy and Climate Plans Timeline

June 2024

By the 30th of June 2024 member states should notify the Commission of a final update to the NECPs unless they have justified that the current plan remains valid.

June 2024
June 2023

By the 30th of June 2023 member states must submit a draft update of the NECPs to the Commission or justify that the current plan remains valid.

June 2023
March 2023

By the 15th of March 2023, and every two years thereafter, member states should report to the Commission on the status of the implementation of their NECPs (progress report), including progress on reaching the targets, updates on policies and measures, and projections.

March 2023
October 2021

From October 2021, the EU Commission makes an assessment of the member states’ progress every two years.

October 2021
June 2020

By mid-2020, the Commission assesses if the targets outlined in the NECPs are sufficient and if its recommendations haven been taken into account.

June 2020
December 2019

By the end of 2019, member states must take due account of the recommendations or justify why they would not do so. The member states must publish the final NECPs.

December 2019
June 2019

By the 30th of June 2019, the Commission publishes its assessment of the NECPs and its recommendations.

June 2019
April 2019

In April 2019, the fourth State of the Energy Union report is released and the first assessment of the plans takes place.

April 2019
February to June 2019

From February until June 2019, EU Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete tours the EU to meet with national ministries.

February to June 2019
January 2019

The first NECPs workshop with member states took place on the 29th of January 2019.

January 2019
December 2018

By the end of 2018, all member states will have published draft NECPs.

December 2018

"As the lowest cost and most easily deployed clean energy technology, solar in Europe has entered a new growth phase. Now it is key that EU member states set ambitious national solar targets and develop robust implementation guidelines in their 2030 National Energy and Climate Plans.”

Walburga Hemetsberger, CEO of SolarPower Europe

In pictures:

Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete meets representatives of National Solar Associations to discuss National Energy and Climate Plans

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