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EREC at Odds with EU Energy Commissioner

EREC, the European Renewable Energy Council, has criticized the Commissioner designate for Energy, Laszlo Kovacs, for making what they call “a premature judgment” on a possible European-wide support mechanism for renewable electricity.

“We ask the Commissioner designate to await next year’s Commission report on the experiences with the different promotion mechanisms in the member states,” said Arthouros Zervos, President of EREC. “Before favoring a system that has not yet proven its ability to attract renewable energy investment, we should wait for the evaluation.” During a European Parliament hearing in September, the Commissioner designate spoke out in favor of a harmonized certificate-trading model for the promotion of electricity from renewable energy sources, according to EREC. However, Directive 2001/77 obliges the Commission to present an evaluation of the effectiveness of different promotion mechanisms for electricity from renewable energy sources by October 2005 the latest. This report might, if necessary, be accompanied by a proposal for a Community framework with regard to support schemes to reach the EU target of 22 percent electricity from renewables in 2010. “We would have expected clear commitments from the Commissioner designate in other sectors, such as heating and cooling from renewable energy sources or improved research, as it was already mentioned in the Commission Communication of 26 May 2004 and demanded by the European Parliament,” Zervos said. “Unfortunately these issues were missing, but we are confident that Mr Kovacs will acknowledge renewable energy’s potential to secure Europe’s energy supply in the future during his mandate.” The European Renewable Energy Council (EREC) is the umbrella organization of the major European renewable energy industry, trade and research associations active in the field of photovoltaic, small hydropower, solar thermal, biomass, geothermal and wind energy.