EU Energy Ministers discussed Energy Roadmap 2050 and Energy Efficiency Directive
The Energy Ministers of the 27 EU Member States held an informal meeting on 19/20 April in Horsens, Denmark. During the meeting they discussed the EU Energy Roadmap 2050 and the Commission's proposal for a new EU Energy Efficiency Directive.
The Energy Roadmap submitted by the Commission in December 2011 presents various ways to secure energy supply until 2050. According to the Commission, the future development will focus on improving energy efficiency and the EU-wide expansion of flexible energy infrastructures and renewable energies.
State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology Stefan Kapferer said: "The expansion of renewable energies is quite rightly one of the Roadmap's priorities. Germany has already committed itself to a very ambitious expansion at the national level. While our share of renewables has grown rapidly, we must also bear in mind the costs for consumers. In this context, a more European approach could be helpful to make the expansion more cost-efficient. However, I believe that it is absolutely wrong to consider financial support for proven technologies such as nuclear power for climate-protection reasons. Financial assistance may be justified for young, low-carbon technologies such as renewable energies in their market development phase, but not for technologies that have been on the market for decades. In any case, this option is not being considered in Germany."
The Energy Ministers intend to adopt conclusions on the Energy Roadmap 2050 during their next meeting in June 2012.
The Commission's proposal for a new EU Energy Efficiency Directive aims to enable the EU to reach its target of improving energy efficiency by 20 % by the year 2020. One key element is the introduction of binding energy savings rates for companies - or alternatively for the Member States.
State Secretary Kapferer underlined: "We are no doubt pursuing ambitious objectives to enhance energy efficiency and a lot remains to be done. For this purpose, we need measures that require all Member States to make realistic and comparable efforts. Therefore, clear and adequate rules on the recognition of energy savings measures are needed: Apart from state measures, market-induced efficiency improvement resulting from technological progress, for instance, must also be taken into account. Since in the end everything that helps to save energy and to improve cost efficiency counts. Besides, it must be recognised when Member States have already taken early actions to improve energy efficiency. From an economic point of view, it is wrong to fix an absolute maximum level for energy consumption for the year 2020 that is binding for the EU and for all Member States. We approve of more energy efficiency, but we disapprove of a planned economy in the energy sector."
The Commission's proposal for a new EU Energy Efficiency Directive has been discussed in the Council and in the European Parliament since summer 2011.