European Parliament, Commission, at Odds Over Renewables

A schism has recently emerged between the European Parliament and the European Commission regarding funding of renewable energy. In a press briefing this week, European renewable energy industry associations called for the European Commission to acknowledge the European Parliament’s decision to prioritize research in renewable energy.

The associations and representatives of the European Parliament have charged the Commission with ignoring Parliament’s decision to strengthen the research budget for renewables and energy efficiency. The associations represented included the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA), the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC) and the European Renewable Energy Centres (EUREC). On 15 June at its plenary meeting, the European Parliament voted to dedicate two-thirds of the non-nuclear energy research budget under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Program for Research (FP7) to renewable energy sources and energy efficiency. The move came following recognition of neglect of renewable research investments in recent years. The European Commission appears to see things differently, however, and has decided to ignore the democratic decision of the Parliament in its amended proposal for the program. “We are hearing many fine words about the importance of renewables and energy efficiency. Now that decision time has arrived, there is silence. We do not understand the position of the European Commission and its priorities for research over the next seven years,” said Christian Kjaer, Chief Executive of the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA). “Last month, the European Parliament expressed the will of European citizens to reverse decades of unbalanced focus on fossil fuel energy research,” Kjaer said. “Europe has the opportunity to move closer to an energy future based on known and predictable costs, derived from clean and indigenous energy sources free of all the security, political, economic and environmental disadvantages associated with the current energy supply structure.” The Parliament agreed that non-nuclear energy research should total Euro 2.4 billion [US$3 billion] over the seven years of the program (2007-2013). Over the next five years, the average annual research budget for energy would be as follows: — Total Energy research: Euro 920 million — Nuclear energy research: Euro 580 million (63%) — Non-nuclear energy research: Euro 340 million (37%), of which 2/3 to renewables and energy efficiency: Euro 226 million (25%) “It is our hope that the Member States, at the next Competitiveness Council on Monday 24 July, will back the European Parliament in its call for sufficient research investment in renewables,” said the united organizations.
Previous articleFlorida Applications for Solar Incentives Now Available
Next articleVermont Agrees to Allocate $500,000 for Solar Projects

No posts to display