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News, Press2009

EU Economic Recovery Plan includes offshore wind

01.04.2009

The European Parliament’s energy committee today agreed to dedicate €565 million to offshore wind projects. The EU Economic Recovery Plan intends to tackle the financial crisis by encouraging investments in offshore wind, coal (carbon capture and storage - CCS) and electricity and gas infrastructure.

“The wind energy sector is pleased with the effort to unlock Europe’s massive offshore wind energy resource, while encouraging investments in new electricity grids. Still, I have doubts whether the vast amounts of money being allocated to coal CCS will contribute to the EU’s economic recovery, since the technology will not be commercially viable this side of 2020. EWEA therefore supports the Parliament’s proposal to allocate any unspent money to renewable energy technologies, including onshore wind power, which can be employed immediately,” said Christian Kjaer, Chief Executive of the European Wind Energy Association.

The Parliament’s energy (ITRE) committee voted on the Economic Recovery Plan this morning, following on from the Council’s agreement on 20 March. The Plan has an overall value of €5 billion, of which €3.98 billion is to go to energy projects up to 2010, including the initiation of the first stage of an offshore supergrid. €565 million is to go to specific offshore wind projects. The ITRE committee, in a strong challenge to the European Council, has proposed that any unspent money should be made available to other renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.

The European Parliament and Council will now enter negotiations on the EU Recovery Plan with the aim of reaching a first reading agreement before the elections. A European Parliament plenary vote is expected in the first week of May.

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