Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The angels are in the details

How serious are European Union leaders about combating climate change? Not content with simply setting renewable energy targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the European Commission has developed a template designed to gather details about how each member state will actually achieve their renewable energy commitments within the next decade.

This is another example of EU leadership on climate change that we're hoping U.S. leaders might take notice of and emulate. (GW)

EU issues template for national renewables plans

1 July 2009

The European Commission yesterday (30 June) adopted a template for national renewable energy action plans (NREAPS), requiring member states to detail how they intend to reach their national targets for the share of renewables in their energy mix.

The action plans are a feature of the new Renewables Directive, which entered into force last month, setting a binding target to source 20% of the EU's energy consumption from renewables by 2020 (see EurActiv LinksDossier). Member states must now fill in the template with sectoral targets for the share of renewable energy in transport, electricity, heating and cooling, and offer a trajectory for getting there.

The EU executive hopes that the common template will guarantee the completeness of the national plans, while making them comparable with each other and future implementation reports that member states will need to submit every two years.

European Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs said the template would help member states to produce a "credible plan which in turn will help the EU to meet its targets on time".

A progress report published in April showed that the EU was falling short of its 12% renewables target for 2020, and the Commission had initiated 61 legal proceedings since 2004 (EurActiv 30/04/09).

The 40-page document asks member states to specify what policies they plan to enforce on biomass resources and on implementing sustainability schemes for biofuel. National action plans will also have to include details on "enabling measures", such as revision of building codes, information campaigns, support schemes and the planned use of flexibility measures.

Member states will also have to state what steps they are taking to cut red tape on administrative procedures and to spell out any "unnecessary obstacles". To further help the integration of renewable electricity into the grid, infrastructure development plans should be reported, including reinforcement of interconnections with neighbouring countries.

Each member state will now have a year until 30 June 2010 to submit its plan to the Commission, which will assess whether it reflects national targets and trajectories. Should the EU executive rule a plan insufficient, it can start infringement proceedings against the member state concerned.

The wind industry welcomed the template, saying it would allow for the anticipation of new wind energy installations. "What the filled-out template will do is to effectively provide the wind energy sector with 27 national roadmaps for its development up to 2020, and show the expected share of the different technologies year on year," said Christian Kjaer, chief executive of European Wind Energy Association (EWEA).


Post a Comment

<< Home