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Upcoming EU Directives for Renewable Energy
 
In the EU Commission, two directives are under preparation that will affect the development of renewable energy in the EU. The most advanced is a revision of the EU Directive of State Aid, regulating which kinds of subsidies and other measures the EU countries can have to support, e.g., renewable energy and energy-efficiency solutions. It sets an important framework for national policies for sustainable energy and should be studied carefully, when published. The text of the directive is currently being negotiated in the Commission. It is likely to be proposed from the Commission to the EU countries after the new Commission is in place in September.
The other upcoming directive will regulate renewable energy in the open electricity market. As mentioned in Sustainable Energy News No. 25 (May’99), the Commission published a working paper and invited comments on the issue in the spring.
The EU Energy Ministers welcomed the initiative at their meeting in May, and asked the Commission to go forward with a directive. They recommended a directive that would set a framework for national policies, and that would not require any single system for all countries.
Nine NGOs (Greenpeace, Climate Network Europe, WWF, COGEN, Friends of the Earth - FoE, European Wind Energy Association - EWEA, Fodergesellschaft Windenergie, Bundesverband Wind Energie, and the Business Council for Sustainable Future) proposed ten principles for the new directive, including national minimum targets of 8% renewable energy in the electricity mix by 2005 and 16% by 2010, with minimum increase of, respectively, 4% and 8%.

Sources:
Greenpeace European Unit and others.
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