MEPs demand strong renewables support

Parliament warns of risk to funding schemes of forthcoming EU state aid rules revision

The European Parliament has called for EU member states to be given "ambitious and binding" targets for increasing the share of renewables in their energy supply, in a report adopted in Strasbourg yesterday. The report also warns that a forthcoming revision of EU rules on state aids - government financial support packages - risks undermining the aim of boosting renewables.

Drafted by Green MEP Claude Turmes, the non-binding report's underlying demand is for the EU to double the proportion of renewable energy by 2010 as proposed by the European Commission in a 1997 white paper (ENDS Daily 27 November 1997).

The controversial, forthcoming directive on promotion of renewable energy in the EU's single market (ENDS Daily 3 December 1999) should therefore include binding and ambitious national targets, the report says. These should help to achieve "burden sharing" between member states in achieving the white paper's goal. Moreover, the directive should not impose any limits on state support schemes until 2010, with a review in 2005 to evaluate progress towards meeting targets.

Turning to the forthcoming revision of EU rules on state aids (ENDS Daily 23 March), the report stresses that renewable energy support "must not be viewed as straightforward subsidies under the rules on state aid". It should instead be "treated in a special and separate manner" to avoid single market restrictions from damaging national renewables schemes.

Follow Up:
European Parliament, tel: +32 2 285 2111.

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