Recent amendments to European standard EN55022 throw into jeopardy the future of powerline communications (PLC) technologies by imposing artificially low electromagnetic emissions limits that will make it impossible to place PLC equipment on the EU market from October 2009. PLC technologies enable important applications, including cost-effective smart grid technologies, through their capacity to ensure efficient management of the energy grid, integrate renewable energy sources, and enable sustainable consumer behaviour. Smart grid technology has been endorsed in the EU’s Strategic Energy Technology Plan and has a key role to play in helping Member States meet the European Union’s 20-20-20 climate change commitments.
What actions is the Commission taking to ensure that the changes to the standard do not disrupt the deployment of powerline communications technologies from October 2009?
Can the Commission confirm that it intends to scrutinise the decision-making process within the relevant CENELEC working group to establish if the decision-making process complies with the requirements for transparency laid down in Directive 98/34/EC(1)?
Does the Commission agree that it would be appropriate to maintain the existing EN55022:1998 standard beyond the expiry date of October 2009 to allow time for all relevant stakeholders to jointly review the impact of the changes introduced in 2006, and for the relevant CENELEC working group, specifically established for that purpose, to run its course?
Does the Commission agree that allowing the EN55022:2006 standard to be the only way of demonstrating product conformity from October 2009 will disproportionately affect PLC technologies at a time when Europe needs all relevant technologies to remain available if the EU is to achieve its climate change commitments, and be competitive in the multibillion Euro smart grid industry?