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Brussels in brief, WW200904

EU Economic Recovery Plan includes offshore wind

16.04.2009

At the end of March, the European Parliament’s energy committee 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,” said Christian Kjaer, EWEA Chief Executive. “It also welcomes the tentative agreement reached on 16 April by the Czech Presidency and European Parliament’s Rapporteur that, following a budget review by the European Commission in March 2010, unspent monies could be made available to certain renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. This would be an excellent use of any unspent money.”

The Parliament’s energy (ITRE) committee’s vote on the Economic Recovery Plan on 31 March followed 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 EU Economic Recovery Plan must be endorsed by both the 27 Member States and the full European Parliament in May.

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