EBC replies to the consultation on the Renewable Energy Directive

The European Commission has issued a public consultation on the preparation of a new Renewable Energy Directive for the period after 2020. The results will be taken into account in the future Impact Assessment study in the preparation of the new Directive. EBC replied to the consultation by focusing on the most relevant questions for construction small and medium firms.

Equivalent qualification in the Renewable Energy Directive

The EU Member States implemented the Directive in quite different ways.The introduction of the possibility for “equivalent qualification” within article 14 of the directive has been very important for construction small and medium businesses. Certification systems are generally costly, time consuming and inappropriate for installers.
In some cases Member States do not allow for the flexibility given by the EU Directive. This might have the opposite effect of diminishing the supply of renewable energy equipment in buildings. Member States must therefore keep the possibility of the “equivalent qualification” in their national law.

Incorrect implementation of the directive

Upgrading installers’ skills is very important to ensure high-quality installations. In certain countries, however, the incorrect implementation of the Directive has made it more difficult for microenterprises to enter the renewables market.
For example, France has imposed training for each renewables system, which does not take into account past experiences or qualifications. It would be much more efficient to introduce an “equivalent qualification” scheme as stated in the Directive.
Flanders introduced a certification system in 2014. The Flemish Energy Agency has now the project to link financial incentives with certification. This may have a negative impact on current installers as it is costly and time consuming – notably for small companies installing different renewables systems.