The German Retail Association (HDE) has anticipated hurdles in the 'REPowerEU' plan published by the European Commission, which aims to promote a common European approach toward an independent and sustainable energy supply.
The association welcomes the goals formulated by the European Commission to reduce dependence on gas and oil imports and to promote renewable energies.
However, from the point of view of the HDE, the planned strategies are not yet fully developed.
"It is important to set up the European energy supply independently and sustainably for the future," commented Antje Gerstein, HDE managing director for European policy and sustainability.
"In practice, however, this will only succeed if bureaucratic hurdles are also removed."
For example, the HDE found issues in the area of energy efficiency and the planned tightening of energy audits around the expense of the associated reporting obligations.
"For retailers, investments in energy efficiency only work if they pay off for the company. Nipping them in the bud with bureaucratic requirements undermines the goal," added Gerstein.
According to the HDE, the removal of bureaucratic hurdles is also necessary with a view to the solar strategy.
An obligation to install solar power systems on the roofs of trading companies should not be mandatory – rather, it is about setting the right incentives for investments, it says.
"The introduction of a general obligation means that investments must also be made in locations that are completely unsuitable for solar energy. That cannot and should not be the goal," Gerstein added.
The HDE suggested that the European Commission could simplify business models for the use of solar power and remove bureaucratic hurdles by adapting the legal framework for state aid as a first step.