Ministers to confirm EU caution on renewables

EU energy ministers are to back the European Commission's decision not to propose post-2010 targets for EU renewable electricity generation until 2007, according to a draft declaration due to be approved at the end of November.

The statement responds to the first review of the EU’s renewables directive, published in May. In this the Commission enraged the renewables industry and environmentalists by failing to propose longer-term EU targets. This would not be safe while significant doubts hung over whether existing 2010 targets will be met, it argued.

In fact, governments are looking even more nervous of a new round of renewables targets than was the Commission. The draft declaration refers only to “possible new indicative targets” for 2020, while the Commission has left open the possibility of more legally-binding mandatory targets. Junior diplomats will discuss the wording of the statement again next week.

The declaration calls for the creation of an informal policy-making forum similar to those which contributed to the development of the EU’s internal gas and electricity markets. It also welcomes plans for a European action plan on biomass and urges the European Commission to study the prospects of using renewable sources for heating and cooling – as distinct from electricity generation.

Republished with permission of Environment Daily

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