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Parliamentary questions
12 April 2013
E-001670/2013
Answer given by Mr Oettinger on behalf of the Commission

1. Available evidence suggests that the costs of electricity generation for onshore wind are roughly in the same range as for conventional power plants. A comparison of levelised costs of electricity for different technologies done by the IEA in 2010 puts onshore wind still somewhat higher than coal and gas(1). However, costs of onshore wind have further fallen since then.(2)

2. Directive 2009/28/EC(3) sets binding targets for Member States for the share of renewable energy and obliges them to introduce measures designed to achieve those targets. Support schemes are considered necessary to correct a number of market failures. Moreover, if it constitutes state aid, support can be found to be compatible with the TFEU if it respects a number of conditions laid down in the Guidelines on State Aid for Environmental Protection (EAG)(4) or the environmental provisions of the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER)(5).

3. The availability in Germany of electricity produced at low marginal costs such as wind has the effect of lowering wholesale prices. To the extent that prices are correlated because of cross-border trade, this effect will also be reflected in lower wholesale prices in neighbouring markets. Regarding networks, the change in the generation structure in Germany(6) has in certain cases led to an increase in unscheduled flows in the network of neighbouring countries. This should mainly be addressed by reinforcing transmission links within Germany.

4. Common rules on support to renewable energy production exist in the EAG and the GBER. Both are currently under revision. The Commission has moreover announced that it will come forward with guidance for Member States on support schemes for renewable energy and on measures to ensure generation adequacy(7).

(1)C. 110 EUR /MWh as opposed to 80-90 EUR /MWh for coal and gas, http://www.iea.org/Textbase/npsum/ElecCost2010SUM.pdf, p. 18
(2)A recent estimate by the JRC puts them at around 70 EUR /MWh. 2012 JRD wind status report, p. 54.
(3)Directive 2009/28/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources and amending and subsequently repealing Directives 2001/77/EC and 2003/30/EC, OJ L 140, 5.6.2009.
(4)http://ec.europa.eu/competition/state_aid/reform/environmental_guidelines_en.pdf
(5)http://ec.europa.eu/competition/state_aid/reform/gber_final_en.pdf
(6)Increased wind production in Northern Germany and reduced generation capacity in the South.
(7)Cf. COM(2012) 271 and COM(2012) 663.

OJ C 371 E, 18/12/2013
Senaste uppdatering: 18 april 2013Rättsligt meddelande