- Category: Press Releases
- Published: Wednesday, 09 April 2014 13:38
European Commission gives in to industry demands on support for renewables
[Brussels, 9 April 2014] - CAN Europe is disappointed with the new rules for energy and environmental state aid, which were adopted by the European Commission today. The new rules set restrictive conditions for renewable energy promoters while allowing far too generous exemptions for industry. With these rules in place, most of the burden of Europe's inevitable low-carbon energy transition will fall on household energy consumers rather than being shared between all players, including industry.
"One of the main concerns of citizens and NGOs is that support for renewable energy producers will now be allocated through a tendering procedure, which creates unfair conditions for smaller producers that are unable to engage in long administrative processes with high investment uncertainty," said Daniel Fraile, senior energy policy officer at CAN Europe. "This lopsided new regime does not create the right conditions for the EU to support small business enterprises and private investors in Europe or, importantly, exploit the EU's vast potential as a world leader in renewable energy."
NGOs also voiced concern that tenders will be technology-neutral, which will diminish incentives to invest in technologies that may be currently more expensive to produce but still offer high long-term potential to reduce carbon emissions. Another NGO concern involves the move away from feed-in-tariffs to feed-in-premiums , which will lead unavoidably to increased investor uncertainty and higher capital costs.
Any modernization of state-aid rules should help Europe decarbonize its energy sector in a cost-effective manner and bring forward the environmental, social and geo-political benefits of a low carbon society. However, these new EU rules introduce new roadblocks that favour large scale, incumbent, traditional fossil-fuel based energy producers, instead of removing market barriers to large-scale deployment of renewable energies.
Member States must now adapt their national support systems to be in line with the new rules. CAN Europe encourages EU countries to work toward minimizing the impacts this new regime may cause for renewables deployment. Such care taken at national level will ensure that millions of green jobs remain in Europe and citizens can continue to make personal choices about renewable energy use, placing people, rather than the fossil fuel industry, firmly at the core of the European energy system transformation.
Daniel Fraile, CAN Europe Senior Energy Policy Officer, +32 2894 4672
Vanessa Bulkacz, CAN Europe Communications Manager, +32 494 525 738
CAN Europe is Europe's largest coalition working on climate and energy issues. With over 120 member organisations in more than 25 European countries, CAN Europe works to prevent dangerous climate change and promote sustainable climate and energy policy in Europe.