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News in Brief, BB200802

The Energy Council debates the proposed Renewable Energy Directive

17.03.2008

On 28 February Europe’s Energy ministers held their first debate on the proposed Renewable Energy Directive published by the European Commission on 23 January. The debate was based on a number of questions posed by the Slovenian EU Presidency, which focused on the ambition of the proposal and the trade in Guarantees of Origin (GoO).

The proposed directive was supported by the Member States as an important way to achieve the EU’s climate and renewable energy goals agreed by the Heads of State at the 2007 Spring European Council. The national targets are considered to be very ambitious by Member States. A number of countries implied that they would need the greater flexibility of GoO trading to achieve their target. However, several others, including Germany, Spain, Poland, Finland and Latvia, voiced concerns about the impact that GoO trading would have on their national support schemes. They insisted that national governments must remain in full control of trading. A minority of Member States (for example Austria, Denmark and Italy) questioned whether they would be able to reach their targets.

A number of Member States called for the early adoption of the proposed legislation, a call led by France, which holds the EU Presidency in the second half of this year.

The Council will now continue its discussions in the Energy Working Party, a council formation consisting of civil servants from the Member States and European Commission. The Working Party meets weekly to discuss various EU energy issues, and will over the next few months begin a detailed article-by-article discussion of the Commission proposal.

The Slovenian Presidency has summarised the outcome of the Ministerial debate and a number of Member States have made written submissions.

Member State contributions - EE FI EL HU LV PT SK UK
Member State contributions - BG DE IT LT
Council press release on the outcome of the Energy Council

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