Procedure : 2007/2090(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A6-0287/2007

Texts tabled :

A6-0287/2007

Debates :

PV 24/09/2007 - 16
CRE 24/09/2007 - 16

Votes :

PV 25/09/2007 - 6.20
CRE 25/09/2007 - 6.20
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P6_TA(2007)0406

REPORT     
PDF 304kDOC 265k
20 July 2007
A6-0287/2007

on the Roadmap for Renewable Energy in Europe

(2007/2090(INI))

Committee on Industry, Research and Energy

Rapporteur: Britta Thomsen

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 OPINION of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety
 OPINION of the Committee on Regional Development
 OPINION of the Committee on International Trade
 OPINION of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development
 PROCEDURE

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

on the Roadmap for Renewable Energy in Europe

(2007/2090(INI))

The European Parliament,

–    having regard to the Commission Communication entitled An Energy Policy for Europe (COM(2007)0001),

–    having regard to the Commission Communication entitled Renewable Energy Road Map (COM(2006)0848),

–    having regard to the Commission Communication entitled Report on progress in renewable electricity (COM(2006)0849),

–    having regard to the Commission Communication entitled Biofuels progress report (COM(2006)0845),

–    having regard to the Presidency Conclusions of the European Council of 8 and 9 March 2007, concerning the European Council's endorsement of a European Council Action Plan (2007-2009) – Energy Policy for Europe (7224/07),

–    having regard to the Commission staff working document entitled Renewable Energy Road Map (SEC(2006)1720/2), accompanying the Renewable Energy Road Map,

–    having regard to the Impact Assessment (SEC(2006)1719/2), accompanying the Renewable Energy Road Map,

–    having regard to the Commission staff working document entitled Biofuels progress report (SEC(2006)1721/2), accompanying the Commission Communication COM(2006)0845,

–    having regard to its resolution of 14 December 2006 on a European strategy for sustainable, competitive and secure energy – Green paper(1),

–    having regard to its resolution of 14 December 2006 on a strategy for biomass and biofuels(2),

–    having regard to its resolution of 1 June 2006 on Energy efficiency or doing more with less – Green Paper(3),

–    having regard to its resolution of 23 March 2006 on security of energy supply in the European Union(4),

–    having regard to its resolution of 14 February 2006 on heating and cooling from renewable energy sources(5),

–    having regard to its resolution of 29 September 2005 on the share of renewable energy in the European Union and proposals for concrete actions(6),

–    having regard to its position adopted at second reading on 13 April 2005 with a view to the adoption of a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a framework for the setting of ecodesign requirements for energy-using products,

–    having regard to its position adopted at second reading on 18 December 2003 with a view to the adoption of a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the promotion of cogeneration based on a useful demand in the internal energy market,

–    having regard to its position adopted at second reading on 12 March 2003 with a view to the adoption of a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the promotion of the use of biofuels or other renewable fuels for transport(7),

–    having regard to its position adopted at second reading on 4 July 2001 with a view to the adoption of a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the promotion of electricity produced from renewable energy sources in the internal electricity market(8)

–    having regard to Rule 45 of its Rules of Procedure,

–    having regard to the report of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and the opinions of the Committee on International Trade, the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, the Committee on Regional Development and the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development(A6-0287/2007),

A.  whereas, the Spring European Council of March 2007 adopted an overall binding target for the EU to generate 20% of total energy consumed in the EU from renewable sources by 2020,

B.   whereas that represents a major step towards a sustainable European energy policy that will help to secure energy supply and affordable, competitive energy from renewable sources,

C.  whereas, in its resolution of 14 December 2006, the European Parliament called for ambitious, binding, sectoral targets, aiming for 25% of energy from renewable sources in the primary energy sector by 2020 and proposing a road map for achieving a 50% share of renewables by 2040,

D.   whereas renewable sources, including hydropower, have historically played a significant role in European electricity supply,

E.    whereas, in the context of limiting the increase in average world temperatures to a maximum of 2ºC, nuclear energy currently offers a low-emission, 'bridge' technology that can ease the transition to low CO2 emission energy production from renewable sources; whereas the economic benefits of nuclear energy should largely be invested in renewable energies, energy efficiency measures and energy research,

F.   whereas directives to promote renewable sources of energy in the field of electricity have resulted in, or boosted, sustainable developments in the Member States,

G.  whereas existing directives to promote renewable sources of energy were adopted under the co-decision procedure, often on the basis of Article 175(1) of the EC Treaty,

H.  whereas EU industries in the renewable energy sector are global market leaders thanks to their investment in research and thus make an important contribution to job creation and EU competitiveness, objectives set out in the Lisbon Strategy,

I.    whereas no legal provisions exist on heating and cooling from renewable sources of energy,

J.    whereas renewable sources of energy are a key element in a sustainable energy mix, contributing to:

a) reduced import dependency and diversification of the fuel mix,

b) lower CO2 and other emissions,

c) the development of new innovative technologies,

d) employment and regional development opportunities,

K.  whereas market developments in renewable energies vary enormously from one Member State to another, not only because of differences in potential, but also because of different, and in some cases inadequate, political and legal framework conditions, as well as excessive administrative obstacles to project implementation in many cases,

L.   whereas geological, hydrological and climatic conditions vary greatly in the Member States and whereas the potential for developing renewable energies therefore varies greatly from one Member State to another,

M.  whereas achieving at least a 20% energy efficiency improvement by 2020 is essential to successfully achieving the 20% renewables target,

N.  whereas the promotion of a renewable energy market will help achieve the revised Lisbon objectives by increasing employment and the research and innovation efforts of the Member States and of the EU,

O.  whereas greater use should be made of the EU's research and technology programmes to encourage the development of renewable energy technologies, as is reflected in the FP7 Programme and whereas, at the same time, the existing technological advantage and export potential of European enterprises should be maintained and promoted,

P.   whereas transport fuels are a substantial and growing source of CO2 emissions as well as being the main cause of air pollution in urban centres,

Q.  whereas sustainable solutions to the energy challenges are to be achieved through increased use of renewables, greater improvements in energy efficiency, energy savings and technological innovations in the climate-friendly use of local energy sources,

R.   whereas the heating and cooling sector offers a unique opportunity to use not only renewables but also surplus heat derived from electricity production, industry and waste incineration and thereby to reduce the use of fossil fuels and limit CO2 emissions,

S.   whereas it is indispensable both to ensure that Union citizens have a secure, high-quality supply of energy and to protect the environment, in accordance with public service and universal service obligations,

T.   whereas implementation of the existing Community legal framework for the energy sector is unsatisfactory, in particular in the case of renewables, a state of affairs which does not maintain the long-term confidence of investors,

U.  whereas lengthy authorisation procedures for renewable energy generation projects, transmission lines and distribution networks are a major obstacle to the rapid development of renewable sources,

V.  whereas the lack of clear environmental and social safeguards, especially in the case of biofuels, could lead to significant negative effects, such as an increase in tropical deforestation without any significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions,

W. whereas efforts to tackle climate change should not jeopardise efforts to protect biodiversity and ecosystems,

1.   Calls on the Commission to present by the end of 2007 at the latest a proposal for a renewable energy legislative framework to be adopted by co-decision on the basis of Article 175(1) of the EC Treaty; stresses that this legislative framework should maintain existing legislation for the renewable electricity and biofuels sectors, but must be strengthened and improved and accompanied by ambitious legislation on increasing the share of renewable energy for heating and cooling; urges the Commission to propose a sectoral approach within the legislative framework, setting clear and realistic binding targets for the electricity, transport and heating and cooling sectors;

2.   Urges the Commission in its forthcoming proposal for revision of the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), to ensure the better internalisation of the external cost of energy production through the auctioning of ETS credits, so as to create a level playing field for renewable energies and to ensure a fair price for carbon;

3.   Believes that renewable energy sources are abundant on our planet and that the challenge is to extract energy from them; recommends that the revenues generated from ETS auctioning and research funds should be used for research into renewable sources of energy, including promising and challenging sources, such as osmosis energy, tidal energy, wave energy, concentrated solar power, high altitude wind power, laddermill energy and algae fuel technology;

Boosting Renewables:

4.   Emphasises the importance of creating and implementing Renewables Action Plans (RAPs) at Community and national levels and stresses that these should serve to contribute to a real Common European Energy Policy;

5.   Calls for sectoral targets to be incorporated into the RAPs to encourage investment, innovation and research in all sectors; notes that, where technological development or questions of cost efficiency call for adjustment of realistic sector targets, this could be done on review of the RAPs on a regular basis with account being taken of the need for stability in the investment framework;

6.   Calls for strategic environmental impact assessment of RAPs and considers that RAPs should specifically address the need to reconcile renewable energy production with other environmental concerns (sustainable forest management, biodiversity, preventing soil degradation, greenhouse gas emissions and so on;

7.   Urges the Commission and the Member States to reach agreement as soon as possible on assigning the 20% renewables target, taking into account cost-effectiveness and sectoral analyses of the potential in each country, in such a way as ensures an active commitment from all Member States; believes that, despite the fact that some Member States are lagging behind in their contributions to current EU measures on renewables, all Member States should fulfil their commitments to increase their share of renewables, in proportion to their potential and the contributions they have already made;

8.   Regrets that regional and local authorities in the EU continue to show too little interest in harnessing and using renewable energy sources;

9.   Considers that each Member State must be free to choose the most appropriate renewable energy sources given the differences in potential to develop certain renewable energies which are inherent in the geological, hydrological and climatic conditions in the Member States; insists, however, that the target of 20% of energy from renewables means the contribution from renewable energy sources, not other low-carbon energy sources;

10. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to contribute to the creation of a market environment that is favourable to renewables in that it actively promotes the decentralised production and use of this type of energy;

11. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to include energy efficiency scenarios in all RAPs while recognising that energy efficiency is not a renewable energy source;

12. Recalls that renewable energy and energy efficiency are among the best ways to shield both consumers and industry from the dual effects of increased energy imports and rising fuel costs; insists that the development of a Common European Energy Policy must not create any new social barriers and that energy prices must be transparent and competitive when pursuing the renewables target;

13. Calls on the Commission to ensure that Community legislation relating to renewable energy and RAPs includes criteria and provisions to avert conflicts between different uses of biomass;

14. Calls on the Commission to ensure that it has the necessary means and resources to assess the RAPs and to monitor their effective implementation, having due regard for the principle of subsidiarity; recommends that the future legislative framework for renewables should expressly confer on the Commission power and give it the necessary means to reject or accept any RAPs in part or in full; believes that the Commission must ensure that the individual targets in the legislative framework amount to an agreed, binding, EU target;

15. Calls for milestones to be included in the RAPs, therefore, urges the Commission to include in its proposal a clear mid-term target for the proportion of energy to be derived from renewable energy sources so as to avoid delays in the Member States and for reviews of the RAPs to be carried out every three years starting from the date of entry into force of the proposal, so that the Commission can take action before 2020 if any Member State is not fulfilling its obligations; stresses that Member States which fail to honour their commitments must suffer the consequences;

16. Deplores the fact that the EU target of a 12 % renewable energy contribution to the EU energy mix by 2010 will, in all likelihood, not be met;

17. Notes that the Commission's current statistical methodology underestimates the contribution of wind and solar power to of electricity production and therefore urges the Commission to base its calculations on final energy consumption and to develop a statistical methodology that does not distort competition between the various energy technologies;

Internal Market and the grid infrastructure:

18. Regrets that the European Council of 8 and 9 March 2007 did not call sufficiently strongly for completion of the internal energy market; believes that it is indispensable that renewables are rapidly integrated into the internal energy market; believes it is necessary to ensure equal conditions in every Member States in order for a real internal market for energy to develop;

19. Finds that transparent, fair and priority access to the grids is an essential precondition for the successful integration and expansion of electricity generation from renewable sources and that grid access and planning procedures should be further simplified and harmonised, with account being taken of the development of renewable technologies and its intermittent flow of energy so as not to destabilise the national grids;

20. Calls for increased efforts in each Member State to reduce administrative burdens and simplify authorisation procedures including the possibility to create a one-stop shop in order to facilitate the authorisation of renewables; calls on the Commission to establish minimum requirements for the removal of administrative barriers, including streamlined procedures;

21. Calls for investment in additional, flexible, intelligent grid infrastructure and grid management in order to improve system operation, enhance security of supply, reduce consumer costs and improve access to and the generation of renewable energy sources; draws attention to the need to speed up approval procedures and streamline legal procedures;

22. Calls for increased efforts to be made to coordinate Europe planning procedures, sites for renewables and proper grid interconnections;

23. Believes that the promotion of renewables must be accompanied by increased cooperation between national transmission system operators (TSOs) on grid planning and cross-border trade issues in order to successfully integrate fluctuating energy sources;

24. Stresses the enormous development potential of offshore wind energy and the significant contribution it could make to Europe's independence from energy imports and to climate protection, while pointing out that enormous efforts are still needed to fully develop this potential; therefore calls on the Commission to draw up an offshore wind energy action plan, embodying an efficient European approach to offshore technology and promoting stronger interconnections;

25.  calls on the Commission and the Member States to contribute to the creation of a favourable market environment for renewable energy, which should include the abolition of perverse subsidies and the proactive use of public procurement within the EU to help reduce the cost of both energy efficient and renewable technologies;

26. Believes that an effective and efficient harmonised support scheme drawing on best practices in the Member States should be the long-term objective in Europe in order to ensure the most efficient use of renewable energy technologies; believes that national support schemes would nevertheless be needed to maintain investor confidence, as many Member States are only now beginning larger-scale investments in renewables and as the internal energy market is not yet completed; points out that the aim of existing policies to support renewable energy sources is to ensure that they achieve long-term viability and compete in the internal energy market;

27. Recalls that ensuring a broad energy mix also within renewable energies may enable the potential of local energy resources to be better utilised and contribute to European innovation, competitiveness and security of supply by ensuring that technologies with long-term potential are not squeezed out of the market prematurely;

28. Regrets the findings of certain studies that suggest that the EU energy policies on renewables and combating climate change are poorly reflected in the draft spending plans for the Structural Funds and the cohesion funds; calls on the Commission to develop guidelines that ensure systematic support for renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency in each Member State and urges the Member States and regional authorities to take full advantage of the possibility of applying the EU's financial instruments for the development and expansion of renewable energy projects;

29. Commends those Member States which have modified introduced or introducing support schemes or set targets for marine energy; recognises the very significant role played by countries that have provided a stable framework for investment in marine energy projects in reducing the cost of this technology and calls on the Commission and all Member States concerned to follow suit;

30. Notes the impetus that has been given to concentrating solar power technology in Europe thanks to appropriately chosen market support schemes and European research funding, and expects southern Member States in particular to encourage technological development and reduce the cost of concentrating solar power;

31. Calls for a review of any existing Community legislation that hinders the development of the EU's energy policy priorities, including the future development of large scale tidal projects;

32. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to ensure that renewables are given high priority in the sustained efforts that are to be made to maximise the use of EU research and technology development programmes; urges the Member States to agree a strategy for increasing the budget for energy research; suggests that this goal be pursued on revision of the 2007-2013 budget;

33. Welcomes the support from the European Investment Bank for renewable energy sources in the form of preferential loans and urges the Commission and Member States to support such types of funding and encourage them in the public and private sector where there is an interest in the leverage of funds for the development of renewable energy sources;

34. Urges regional authorities, local authorities and NGOs to avail themselves of funding under FP7, the Structural Funds and the CIP/IEE (Intelligent Energy Europe), which will stimulate research, promote renewable energy technologies, the use of bio-fuels and the development of new modes of energy transport and storage designed to reduce energy losses; furthermore, supports the EURENEW initiative for treaty provisions on renewable energy;

35. Points out that further research and development is needed into the storage of energy produced from renewable sources, following the example of hydrogen technology; stresses that, to this end, administrative provisions and approval procedures must be simplified and existing obstacles overcome;

Heating and Cooling:

36. Calls on the Commission to ensure that any proposal for a framework directive for renewables contains strong measures for the promotion of renewable heating and cooling with the aim of increasing its share in the EU from the present level of approximately 10% to at least double that amount by 2020; encourages the Commission to propose innovative solutions to enable all relevant technologies to achieve a high degree of market penetration, such as promoting systematic studies of renewable solutions or supply through heat networks for new buildings and renovations of buildings above a surface area threshold and encourage the reduction of administrative barriers and awareness-raising campaigns;

37. Recalls that district heating and cooling could offer an essential infrastructure for taking full advantage of renewable energies and recalls the need to stimulate the integration of renewable energy sources into existing district heating networks, since biomass and other renewable energy sources can be efficiently deployed in combination with combined heat and power and the use of surplus heating;

38. Calls on the Commission to speed up the widespread adoption in all Member States of best practice regulations making it compulsory, at least where existing buildings are substantially renovated and new buildings are built, for a minimum proportion of the heating requirement to be met from renewable sources, as it already is in a growing number of regions and municipalities;

39. Recalls that 40% of all EU energy is used in buildings and that there is a huge potential to reduce this consumption so that renewable energies might cover all energy needs in this sector; notes the progress made in the energy design and bio-construction of new buildings where the integration of solar architecture, insulation and renewable energies is leading to low energy, passive energy and even plus energy houses (those which produce more energy over a year than they consume); asks the Commission to develop by the end of 2007 an implementation programme for the large scale deployment of passive and net positive energy houses and buildings in the EU;

40. Notes that the available statistics on the energy consumption for heating and for cooling purposes are not sufficiently reliable, comparable and transparent, and calls on the Commission and the Member States to develop procedures so as to improve the statistics for these sectors;

41. Considers that existing boilers offer great scope for the gradual introduction of renewable energy sources; calls on the Commission, before submitting its proposals, to assess the various options, such as a biofuel mix or thermal solar energy;

Transport and biofuels:

42. Calls for the development of a comprehensive, environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable transport policy that fulfils the objectives of Community environmental, climate-related and competition policies, as well as social and regional objectives, in which sustainably produced biofuels may play a role, and also through changes of lifestyle, traffic reduction, and structural measures, such as urban and regional planning; urges the Member States to set ambitious goals regarding the use of renewable energy sources for public transport; calls for the principle of decoupling growth in transport from economic growth and for a stronger commitment to cleaner modes of transport, demand management and a gradual rise in fuel efficiency standards in the transport sector;

43. Welcomes the Commission’s proposal for promoting biofuels and other renewable energies for transport by means of imposing a binding target of 10%, provided that it can be proved that such fuels are produced in a sustainable way; notes the importance of second and third-generation biofuels becoming commercially available and calls for technological progress to be accelerated in this field; stresses that the sustainable use of biofuels would reduce oil dependency and CO2 emissions in the transport sector; however, finds that a fair balance between food and energy production should be sought;

44. Believes that the use of hydrogen and electricity-powered cars will play an important role in the future and that hybrid cars are an interim step towards electro-mobility; calls on the Commission to include hybrid electric cars in the Strategic EU Energy Technology plan; asks Member States to support the purchase of low CO2 emission cars through fiscal incentives;

45. Calls on the Commission to submit measures to promote other alternative fuels that will help to cut emissions from the transport sector, in line with the Action Plan for alternative fuels submitted in 2001, and to examine the possibility of promoting synthetic fuels which can help to diversify energy supply, improve air quality and reduce CO2 emissions;

46. Emphasises that the production of more fuel-efficient cars continues to be the best way of reducing CO2 emissions and oil consumption per vehicle and is concerned that the message that the Community sends to the car industry should be less focused on the demand for biofuels and more focussed on the demand for more fuel efficient vehicles; welcomes, however, the proposal for the revision of the Fuel Quality Directive, which aims to reduce the climate change effect of transport fuels on a well-to-wheel basis in order to improve air quality, promote bioethanol and petrol mixes and allow for higher levels of blending, provided that strong safeguards are put in place to ensure that these fuels are produced in a sustainable way;

47. Calls on the Commission to develop a mandatory, comprehensive certification scheme, applicable to biofuels both produced within and imported into the EU believes that the certification criteria should be designed to ensure that the production of biofuels provides significant greenhouse gas savings over the whole life cycle when compared to the conventional fuels they replace and do not cause, directly or indirectly, a loss in biodiversity and water resources, any reduction in carbon stocks through land use change or social problems such as rising food prices and the displacement of people;

48. Calls on the Commission to seek cooperation with the WTO and similar international organisations in order to secure international acceptance of specific sustainability criteria and the certification system, and thus promote the most sustainable means of production of biofuels worldwide and create a level playing field for all;

49. Calls on the Council and the Commission to ensure that the EU's bilateral agreements with third countries address trade and investment in renewable energy, include provisions concerning international recognised social compatibility and promote certification so as to prevent environmental dumping; points out that in the field of renewable energy sources the EU also has a responsibility to enable developing countries to develop climate-friendly technologies and to facilitate access to European markets; calls on the Commission to develop innovative mechanisms to fund renewable energy technologies and the transfer of know-how, particularly in the developing world;

50. Recognises that tax incentives are an important instrument for changing consumer choice from fossil fuels to biofuels and encourages the Member States to consider tax incentive that makes biofuels the economically rational choice; believes, however, that biofuels that do not fulfil sustainability criteria should not be eligible for subsidies or tax exemptions and should not count towards achievement of the biofuels target;

51. Urges the Commission to ensure that fossile fuels comply with the same requirements as those imposed on biofuels production, including certification systems, greenhouse gas reduction and full cycle analysis, without forgetting the environmental impact of facilities for the extraction and transport of hydrocarbons, illegal discharges at sea and maritime accidents;

52. Believes that the global effects of biofuels production should be closely monitored and such monitoring used for periodic reviews of the Community's policy and targets;

53. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to devote more effort to the conversion of biomass to gas, as biomass could be used as source material with which to produce synthetic liquid fuels (GTL) for use in vehicles;

54. Regrets that the poorest developing countries will be hit earliest and hardest by climate change, even though they have contributed little to the causes of the problem; regrets that more than one quarter of the world's population has no access to modern energy services;

55. Urges the Member States to map out potential renewable energy sources in their different regions with a view to exploiting the capacities of each country to the full and thus encouraging the regions to make use of renewable energy sources;

56. Asks Member States, regions and local authorities to ensure that clear information promoting the technological aspects of photovoltaic electrical generation as well as technical and practical information concerning bio-fuels, biomass, wind, water and geothermal energy and energy efficiency are made available to the general public and socio-economic actors along with information on the financial incentives that are available;

57. Points out that forest biomass used for energy or for raw materials must be managed according to internationally recognised, high standards of sustainability; emphasises that contributions and commitments from the forest-based sector should be recognised and supported by policies which are conducive to better economic, environmental and social performance;

58. Urges Member States to seek and compare best practices in the promotion of biomass and biofuel production and use by means of the open method of coordination;

59. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.

(1)

Texts adopted, P6_TA(2006)0603.

(2)

Texts adopted, P6_TA(2006)0604.

(3)

Texts adopted, P6_TA(2006)0243.

(4)

Texts adopted, P6_TA(2006)0110.

(5)

Texts adopted, P6_TA(2006)0058.

(6)

OJ C 227 E, 21.9.2006, p. 599.

(7)

OJ C 61 E, 10.3.2004, p. 260.

(8)

OJ C 65 E, 14.3.2002, p. 113.


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

Roadmap for renewable energy

The EU is at a turning point. Conventional energy resources are about to run out while we are experiencing an increasing dependency on imports and climatic changes which researchers predict will have dreadful consequences for the inhabitants of both industrialised and developing countries.

The rapporteur's key message in this report is the importance of creating the right framework for this new European venture. Renewable energy cannot therefore be seen as separate from the other targets relating to implementation of an internal market for electricity, achievement of an energy efficiency potential of 20% and revision of the CO2 emissions trading scheme. All these targets are interconnected and the primary concern therefore is to ensure that we achieve the proper legislative framework and compel the Member States to implement already adopted legislation and decisions. We must guarantee a long-term perspective that encourages investors to become involved in this huge venture. These are the preconditions that need to be met so that we can achieve our political objectives of greater security of supply, reduction of CO2 emissions and creation of new jobs in the EU. Yet, at the same time, we must develop an energy policy that is based on solidarity with the developing countries where 1.6 bn people have no access to energy. The energy sector can no longer be regarded only as a supplier of energy but must also be a joint player in resolving the problems involving the environment, climate and security of supply.

National Action Plans

The rapporteur backs the Commission's proposal that it must be laid down in National Action Plans how great a proportion of renewable energy is to be achieved by the individual Member State. However, there are pitfalls with this approach which it is important to be aware of when framing and implementing the individual plans:

(1) A common European energy policy

Firstly, it is important to emphasise that national targets must not overshadow the overriding ambition of developing a common European energy policy. First and foremost, it is important for us to create and expand the common European legislative framework for renewable energy and for meeting Europe's climate and energy targets. This means that the Commission proposal for a legislative framework for renewable energy must include revision of the directive on electricity from renewable energy sources, revision of the directive on biofuels and a proposal for a legal framework for renewable energy in the heating and cooling sector. At the same time, existing directives for actual implementation of the internal market in electricity must be enforced; see also below.

(2) Fair burden sharing

Secondly, the major challenge must be to ensure that all Member States contribute to achievement of the ambitious targets of 20% renewable energy and 20% energy efficiency by 2020. So far, only a few extremely active Member States have contributed to the development of renewable energy in the EU. The rapporteur believes, therefore, that it is essential that the Commission be given a central role in the coordination, quality assurance and monitoring of the efforts of the various countries. In addition, Member States should be required to submit regular reports so that the Commission can intervene on an on-going basis if individual Member States do not live up to their obligations.

The Commission must be able to verify the validity of National Action Plans and be entitled to reject them where there is insufficient documentation for the development of renewable energy in relation to the national targets and where it is not clearly documented what operators are expected to carry out such developments and from where the financing of the necessary investment is to come.

It is the rapporteur's proposal that the burden must be shared in the light of the objective potential for renewable energy in the various countries. If a country has an Atlantic coastline, there is great potential for wind energy; for countries in southern Europe, there is great potential for solar energy; if a country has substantial water power, there is great potential for balancing fluctuating energy and, where the use of biomass has not been optimised, there is great potential for biomass. It should not therefore be argued that, just because a country has a lot of renewable energy, it can get off more cheaply if there is still ample potential for more renewable energy. It is important, therefore, to ensure that technologies are adapted to local circumstances.

The rapporteur is concerned at the attitude of certain Member States that special heed should be paid to countries with a low carbon energy mix. The purpose with adopting renewable energy targets must be to promote renewable energy and not low carbon energy sources in the broad sense. The advantages of renewable energy for Europe are not only about reducing CO2 emissions but just as much about the fact that this is energy which the EU can produce itself and thereby both reduce import dependency on energy and help create jobs and growth in Europe.

There is particular reason to be alert to the consequences of a possible reduction in the relevant obligations to below 20% for the largest Member States. Should this be decided, for example, for the five largest countries it will mean - since they account for no less than 60% of energy consumption - that a quite disproportionately large proportion of renewable energy will be required of the remaining countries in order to achieve an overall target of 20% in the EU.

(3) Methodology for calculating the contribution from renewable energy technologies

There is a particular problem with regard to the statistical methodology for calculating the contribution from the various renewable energy technologies. The method employed by Eurostat for calculating the contribution from the various renewable energy technologies means that, as pointed out by the Commission in 'Renewable energy roadmap', electricity derived from wind power and solar energy is penalised in relation to electricity derived from biomass. This is because the contribution from biomass is calculated on the basis of the energy content of the biomass before it is converted to electricity by combustion in a power station. The conversion process involves a significant loss of approx. 60% which is not deducted when calculating the contribution of biomass. Wind power and solar energy are calculated on the basis of the energy content of the electricity generated. The fact that the conversion loss is not included gives biomass an unfair advantage over wind and solar energy. This disadvantageous situation is a special problem for those countries with a particularly large share of wind power or solar energy in their electricity production. This problematical issue must be dealt with in connection with the Commission submitting its proposal for a directive on renewable energy.

A last point concerning the National Action Plans is the rapporteur's concern whether the Commission, and DG Tren in particular, have enough staff to tackle this huge task of implementation and monitoring. Parliament must make the strongest possible appeal for recruitment of the necessary staff to ensure that the grand targets and plans are not abandoned in a vacuum where nothing is implemented.

The internal market

It is essential for attainment of the target of 20% renewable energy that better conditions of access to the transmission grid be created for electricity from renewable energy sources.

This requires a properly functioning internal energy market with open, non-discriminatory and effective access for renewable energy to the grid which must at the same time be sufficiently developed to be able to cope with large quantities of electricity from renewable energy sources. The rapporteur believes that separation of ownership of the responsible transmission system operator (TSO) from commercial activities will be the best guarantee that there will be no discrimination against renewable energy producers in terms of access to the grid.

Support schemes

Although the rapporteur believes that harmonisation of support schemes at European level is the ultimate objective, it is not her view that the market at this stage is ready for this step. On the one hand, it is important that we should first ensure full implementation of the internal market in electricity and a fair and level playing field for electricity from all energy sources and, on the other hand, it is important that we should arrive at a system that ensures technological diversity so that the technologies which are still only at the experimental stage but which have long-term potential are not squeezed out of the market prematurely.

Establishment of an internal market for renewable energy will also require the differing qualities of renewable energy to be taken into account particularly in terms of the difference between combustible and generated energy; see the methodology issue referred to above. Otherwise, countries with huge potential for biomass on the one hand or for solar or wind energy on the other will have markedly different market advantages.

The transport sector and renewable energy

The rapporteur agrees with the Commission's assessment that biofuels at the present time provide a major opportunity for introducing renewable energy in the transport sector. At the same time, however, the rapporteur feels it is important to emphasise the need for a comprehensive approach to be adopted towards the transport sector so that the growing focus on biofuels does not diminish the pressure on the sector for the development of more efficient cars and for political objectives concerning the expansion of public transport and the switch from road to rail and waterborne transport.

A system needs to be introduced that encourages the most viable biofuel technologies, e.g. through certification. The system should include both a CO2 audit and an energy audit as well as other environmental impacts, e.g. reduced biodiversity. It must ensure that there are effective incentives in place to encourage the technologies that have the best CO2 and energy audits. At the same time, it is important that the development of a certification scheme should not act as a technical barrier to trade with third countries. The rapporteur does not believe that the intention behind promoting biofuel is to create a new system of agricultural aid in the EU by, for example, keeping competitors from third countries out of EU markets. We must not rerun a protectionist policy in deference to narrow sectoral interests. We ought to monitor closely the trend of food prices and ensure that there are appropriate incentives to ensure that the production of biofuels does not entail increases in food prices that impact adversely on the populations in developing countries.

The social dimension

The rapporteur believes it is important that the social dimension of energy policy should at all times be included in line with the environmental dimension, the security policy considerations and the economic perspectives. Energy must be accessible to all so the introduction of renewable energy must not entail price increases that make it impossible for the individual consumer to purchase heating or electricity. It cannot be assumed that the market can resolve this issue so we must be ready to provide aid to the especially vulnerable categories in society who are particularly affected by rising energy prices.

At the same time, however, the rapporteur wishes to stress that the very emphasis on renewable energy in the EU will create opportunities for jobs and growth in outlying and poor regions as well. This development can help replace some of the jobs lost when industrial mass production is relocated away from Europe.


OPINION of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (7.6.2007)

for the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy

on a roadmap for renewable energy in Europe

(2007/2090(INI)

Draftsman: Vittorio Prodi

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety calls on the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

1.   Stresses that the vulnerability of our societies and economies is increasing due to factors such as climate change, dependence on fossil fuels and rising energy costs;

2.   Regrets that regional and local authorities in the EU continue to show too little interest in harnessing and using renewable energy sources;

3.   Further highlights the potential of the renewable energy sector to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pollution, to make use of indigenous energy sources, to achieve the Lisbon objectives, to guarantee and improve the security of supply through greater diversification of energy sources and to achieve Europe’s aims with regard to growth, employment and sustainability;

4.   Welcomes the Commission's acknowledgement that the price of fossil fuels does not give a fair assessment of its external costs, including the effects on climate change; stresses the need to reform the current economic model so as to internalise the negative externalities, levelling the playing field between different energy sources and thereby improving the competitiveness of renewable energy sources; further calls on the Commission to propose legislation to abolish subsidies which provide perverse incentives for fossil fuels;

5.   Deplores the fact that the EU target for a 12 % renewable energy contribution to the EU energy mix by 2010 will, in all likelihood, not be met; stresses, therefore, that the targets set in the Renewable Energy Road Map must be followed by detailed implementation plans with defined national targets and binding sub-targets for each energy sector, as well as sanctions should the targets not be met;

6.   Welcomes the decision of the European Council of March 2007 to set a 20% target for renewable energy by 2020; calls for an ambitious energy efficiency strategy to help achieve this target; reiterates its position that the EU should aim for a 25% share for renewable energy by 2020; furthermore insists that a legislative proposal on the EU target be made on the basis of Article 175(1) of the EC Treaty to ensure the full involvement of both the Council and Parliament; at the same time, considers the provision of interim targets to be particularly useful;

7.   Urges the Commission to ensure that the aim of a 20% share for renewable energy is made binding on the Member States through legislation and is consistently implemented, and that Member States which fail to honour their commitments are subject to strict sanctions; underlines the need for national action plans, in which each Member State sets binding targets for each sector on the basis of its specific meteorological, geographical and geological possibilities and past performance; calls on the Commission to carry out both an initial and an interim assessment of these national action plans;

8.   Is concerned by the absence of legally binding targets for renewable energy in general, and for the heating and cooling sector specifically, as well as the relatively weak legislative framework for the use of renewables in the transport sector at EU level,

9.   Reiterates its call for a directive to promote renewable energies in the heating and cooling sector, as this is an area with considerable potential that could be realised within a short period time and at a relatively low cost;

10. Regrets that the Council and Commission are not currently working on such a directive and, as a second-choice solution, calls for a binding minimum target for the heating and cooling sector, in the context of general legislation on renewable energy;

11. Underlines that in order for the EU 2°C climate target to be met, a shift towards the increased use of renewable energy sources must be accompanied by substantial improvements in energy efficiency, strategies to make fossil fuels cleaner, and a change in lifestyles and consumption and productionpatterns, with the aim of making better use of energy and achieving energy savings wherever possible;calls for the elimination of public subsidies for environmentally unsustainable modes of energy production and for the swift introduction of EU-wide environmental and energy taxes; calls specifically for an exchange of best practice on energy saving between the Member States and for the maximum use of Structural Funds for energy saving measures in the new Member States where the potential is greatest;

12. Underlines, above all, the need to create small, decentralised supply structures to achieve the aim of a drastic increase in the proportion of clean energy from local sources and points to the possibilities that combined heat and power and geothermal energy offer in this respect;

13. Points out the potential of biomass, particularly in the electricity and heating and cooling sectors, to revitalise the economy in rural areas in particular, and the importance of maintaining sustainable biomass production in line with good agricultural practice and without affecting domestic food production, so as to make the farmers of today the energy producers of tomorrow;

14. Recognises that there is a need to develop cost-effective opportunities for the increased use of biomass in energy generation;

15. Emphasises that the expansion in renewable energy generation needed to achieve the Renewable Energy Strategy targets must be managed with great consideration of wider environmental concerns (sustainable forest management, biodiversity, preventing soil degradation, etc) in addition to greenhouse gas emissions;

16. Stresses that biofuels should not be used in motor transport if there is a risk that the consequence will be to increase world food prices or further the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere through the destruction of tropical rainforests or peat lands;

17. Recalls that, with regard to biofuels, a fair balance between food and energy production should be sought; insists that mandatory well-to-wheel analysis and environmental and social sustainability criteria need to be in place before mandatory targets are set;

18. Recognises that the supply of domestic energy crops is limited; stresses, therefore, the need for mandatory environmental and social certification of those biofuels, and the need to ensure that their climate change effect and energy efficiency during their entire life-cycle is clear;

19. Stresses that biofuel production must be conducted on an economically and environmentally sustainable basis throughout the production life-cycle; calls on the Commission to take measures to create an overarching environmental labelling system for biofuels; considers it important to promote third-generation biofuel technology;

20. Calls on the Commission to develop new criteria for the import of vegetable oils used in the production of biofuels, and to call for global sustainability standards for the production and use of biofuels in order to ensure a fair balance between food and energy production, as well as to ensure the protection of both biodiversity and areas with high carbon sequestration;

21. Points out that forest biomass used for energy or for raw materials must be managed according to internationally recognised heigh-level standards of sustainability; underlines that the contributions and commitments of the forest-based sector should be recognised and supported by policies which are conducive to better economic, environmental and social performance;

22. Urges Member States to seek and compare best practice in the promotion of biomass and biofuel production and use by means of the open method of coordination;

23. Points out the need to invest considerably in R&D in order to boost the EU's innovative capacities in the field of renewable energy, taking into account existing technology platforms;

24. Points out that existing market barriers need to be overcome in order to improve the promotion of renewable energy ; calls, therefore, on the Commission and the Member States to contribute to the creation of a favourable market environment for renewable energy, which should include the abolition of perverse subsidies and the proactive use of public procurement within the EU to help reduce the cost of both energy efficient and renewable technologies, andat the same time to ensure fair and priority access for renewable energies to the electricity network; in this context, emphasises the need to actively promote the decentralised production and use of renewable energy without compromising environmental, health and sustainability considerations;

25. Points out that systems for promoting electricity from renewable energy sources in the EU differ greatly, which both distorts competition and is inefficient; repeats its call for the creation, in the long term, of a harmonised incentive system throughout Europe, that meets the following criteria:

(a)  helping to meet current targets and more ambitious future targets;

(b)  consistent with the principles of the internal market in electricity;

(c)  forming part of a systematic approach to developing renewable forms of energy, taking account of the special characteristics of each renewable form of energy as well as of diverse technologies and geographical differences;

(d)  effectively promoting the use of renewable energies while at the same time being simple and as efficient as possible, particularly from the point of view of cost;

(e)  internalising the external costs of all energy sources;

(f)   providing sufficient transitional periods for national incentive systems, so that investors’ confidence is not shaken;

Takes the view that with these criteria, unified Community provisions on feed-in systems may be sensible in the long term, but that quota and tendering systems should also be taken into account, provided that the current weaknesses of such models apparent in some Member States can be overcome;

26. Points out that further research and development is needed into storage of energy produced from renewable sources, following the example of hydrogen technology; stresses that, to this end, administrative provisions and approval procedures must be simplified and existing obstacles overcome;

27. Points out that certain methods of renewable energy production are in conflict with both development and environment goals; stresses in particular that the production of biofuels must not take place at the expense of food security or lead to the destruction of tropical rainforests; moreover, stresses that the production and use of biofuels must lead to significant CO2 reductions in order to meet the criteria for the EU biofuels target;

28. Points out that combustible waste generally consists of 60% of renewable material; calls, therefore, for the gasification of such waste and for the environmentally sustainable recovery of the energy resulting from the incineration of the gas;

29. Points out that the advantages of renewable energies could be further increased if they were used in conjunction with combined heat and power;

30. Asks Member States and the Commission to strengthen cooperation with regional and local authorities so as to enhance the promotion of renewable energy sources and make more effective use of the resources earmarked for such purposes, but acknowledges that it has to be based on maximum subsidiarity and considers that action must also take account of relevant geographical, climatic and economic conditions;

31. Believes that it is too early to harmonise renewable energy support schemes at EU level; calls, however, for the systematic internalisation of external costs in energy prices in order to give economic advantage to renewable energy sources;

32. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to devote more effort to the conversion of biomass to gas, as biomass could be the source material to produce synthetic liquid fuels (GTL) for use in vehicles;

33. Is concerned that the targets set by the EU for increasing the use of renewable energies by 2010 may not be achieved by all the Member States and considers that the Renewable Energy Road Map should include a mechanism for the annual assessment of targets that have been achieved;

34. Calls on nuclear energy operators to extend their portfolio to include renewable forms of energy;

35. Points out that geothermal energy as well as wave energy offer considerable potential for diversifying European energy supply, and should be vigorously pursued;

36. Stresses that the opportunities for renewable energy technologies are very positive in many developing countries; calls on the EU to help support renewable energy technology development in developing countries and to facilitate access to European markets, including by abolishing import levies.

PROCEDURE

Title

A roadmap for renewable energy in Europe

Procedure number

2007/2090(INI)

Committee responsible

ITRE

Opinion by
  Date announced in plenary

ENVI
26.4.2007

Enhanced cooperation – date announced in plenary

 

Drafts(wo)man
  Date appointed

Vittorio Prodi
27.3.2007

Previous drafts(wo)man

 

Discussed in committee

7.5.2007

 

 

 

 

Date adopted

5.6.2007

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

56

0

0

Members present for the final vote

Adamos Adamou, Georgs Andrejevs, Margrete Auken, Liam Aylward, Irena Belohorská, Johannes Blokland, John Bowis, Hiltrud Breyer, Martin Callanan, Dorette Corbey, Chris Davies, Avril Doyle, Mojca Drčar Murko, Edite Estrela, Jill Evans, Anne Ferreira, Karl-Heinz Florenz, Matthias Groote, Caroline Jackson, Dan Jørgensen, Christa Klaß, Eija-Riitta Korhola, Holger Krahmer, Urszula Krupa, Peter Liese, Jules Maaten, Linda McAvan, Alexandru-Ioan Morţun, Riitta Myller, Péter Olajos, Miroslav Ouzký, Antonyia Parvanova, Vittorio Prodi, Frédérique Ries, Guido Sacconi, Daciana Octavia Sârbu, Karin Scheele, Carl Schlyter, Richard Seeber, María Sornosa Martínez, Antonios Trakatellis, Evangelia Tzampazi, Thomas Ulmer, Anja Weisgerber, Glenis Willmott

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Iles Braghetto, Kathalijne Maria Buitenweg, Milan Gaľa, Genowefa Grabowska, Erna Hennicot-Schoepges, Karsten Friedrich Hoppenstedt, Miroslav Mikolášik, Claude Turmes

Substitute(s) under Rule 178(2) present for the final vote

Agustín Díaz de Mera García Consuegra, Christopher Heaton-Harris, Syed Kamall

Comments (available in one language only)

...


OPINION of the Committee on Regional Development (14.6.2007)

for the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy

on a roadmap for renewable energy in Europe

(2007/2090(INI))

Draftswoman: Marian Harkin

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Regional Development calls on the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

1.   Welcomes the Conclusions of the European Council of 9 March and in particular its decision that, until a global and comprehensive post 2012 agreement is concluded, the EU makes a firm independent commitment to achieve at least a 20% reduction of greenhouse gas by 2020 compared to 1990 and the highly ambitious quantified targets on energy efficiency, renewable energies and the use of bio-fuels;

2.   Further welcomes the fact that the 'New Energy Policy for Europe' fully respects Member States' choice of energy mix and their sovereignty over primary energy sources, while at the same time, the policy is underpinned with a spirit of solidarity amongst Member States, ensuring an integrated approach to climate change and the challenge of promoting environmental sustainability; stresses that an energy policy using renewables offers the opportunity for a decentralised energy policy through the exploitation of regional possibilities and needs; calls on the competent authorities to acquire the means to achieve these objectives; calls, therefore, on the Member States to consider all possible renewable energy technologies;

3.   Regrets, however, that the Commission has underplayed the link between the development of renewable energy sources and its impact on the structure of the labour market, on education and occupational training and on the development of industrial relations;

4.   Urges the Member States to map out potential renewable energy sources in their different regions with a view to exploiting the capacities of each country to the full thus encouraging the regions to make use of renewable energy sources;

5.   In the context of the annual review of the Energy Action Plan, insists that the European Parliament be informed annually of the progress and the results obtained in implementing the EU's energy and climate change policy, prior to the annual examination by the European Council; also calls on the Member States to devise their climate strategies, or energy strategies – particularly with a view to increasing the proportion of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency – in the light of regional characteristics;

6.   Calls on the Commission to make cogeneration compulsory when technically possible where renewable energy is produced from biomass and to study the impact of wood-burning furnace projects on the local and sustainable development of the timber sector, given that this sector plays a major role in contributing to regional development and the dynamism of rural economies;

7.   Urges the Commission to come forward as soon as possible with its proposed directive on renewable energies, together with tools for promotion, technology transfer and dissemination of Best Practice in the use of this potential; calls on the EU to set an average target of 25% renewables by 2020 and clear binding targets for the electricity, transport, heating and cooling sectors, and to clarify the roles, rights and responsibilities of the regions and local authorities in policy implementation, in line with the principle of subsidiarity;

8.   Urges the Commission to come forward as soon as possible with its proposed directive on the use of renewable energy sources for heating and refrigeration, together with tools for promotion, technology transfer and dissemination of European best practice in the use of this potential, which has hitherto been considerably under-exploited in Europe;

9.   Calls on the Commission to mobilise all local stakeholders affected by the development of renewable energy sources – local and regional authorities, farmers and foresters, businesspeople and planners, universities, researchers and private individuals – to encourage the establishment of public-private partnerships and improve the supply and marketing circuits for the renewable energy produced;

10. Calls on the Council and Commission, in addition to legislative changes and technological improvements, to pay particular attention to creating the conditions for success, which calls for intensive involvement by local and regional authorities and all stakeholders in society;

11. Calls on the Member States who have not already done so to proceed quickly with the implementation of the Energy Performance in Buildings Directive (2002/91/EC) and to speed up the preparation of the national energy efficiency action plans provided for in Directive 2006/32/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on energy end-use efficiency and energy services, in collaboration with local and regional authorities;

12. Calls subsequently upon the regions and local authorities to commit themselves to the success of the objectives on their own territory, to take these objectives into account in their regional planning and land occupation policies, particularly with a view to dealing with urban sprawl and transport issues, to insist systematically on the need for new constructions and buildings, and the renovation of energy systems in existing buildings, to be carbon neutral and to simplify and speed up the administrative procedures required for the development of renewable sources of energy;

13. Calls on the Member States and the regional and local authorities to set an example for the European public by adopting renewable energy technologies on their premises, encouraging the use of biofuels in their vehicles and saving energy by means of energy-efficient installations;

14. Calls for subsidiarity to be taken fully into account and for local and regional authorities to put in place local energy plans including energy conservation, energy efficiency and how to increase the use of renewable energy;

15. Asks Member States, regions and local authorities to contribute by means of campaigns and economic incentives to changing public views and habits of consumption in the field of energy efficiency and the development of renewable energy sources;

16. Asks Member States, regions and local authorities to ensure that clear information promoting the technological aspects of photovoltaic electrical generation as well as the technical and practical information concerning bio-fuels, biomass, wind, water and geothermal energy and energy efficiency are made available to the general public and socio economic actors along with information on the financial incentives which are also available;

17. Asks the Member States to encourage the authorities to make financial incentives available, encourage training, R+D and innovation in the field of renewables, and broaden the opportunities for innovative undertakings;

18. Calls for funding to be made available under territorial cohesion in order to promote cross-border and inter-regional co-operation by Regional Authorities, Local Authorities and NGOs so as to promote Best Practice and an integrated approach to Energy Policy;

19. Calls upon the Member States and the Commission to promote, via territorial cooperation, the development of regional networks of alternative and renewable energy resources aimed at consumers and end-users;

20. Calls on the Commission to give examples of regional and local development achieved by promoting renewable energy sources and energy saving and to assist in the exchange of best practices and information by European regional and local authorities;·

21. Considers it necessary that there be developed a European-wide strategy for the transition of a petroleum-based transport system to a system based on alternative and renewable fuels, such as hydrogen fuel and bio-fuels, including plans for a pan-European highway system providing renewable and alternative fuel sources; further considers that all reasonable efforts should be made to ensure that remote and underdeveloped regions are connected to such a European-wide network;

22. Urges Regional Authorities, Local Authorities and NGOs to avail of funding under FP7, the Structural Funds and the CIP/IEE (Intelligent Energy Europe), which will stimulate research, promote Renewable Energy technologies, the use of Bio-fuels and the development of new modes of energy Transport and storage to reduce energy losses; furthermore, supports the EURENEW initiative for treaty provisions on renewable energy;

23. Underlines the fact that the production of plant fuels is often highly energy intensive and carbon negative, while the clearing of rain forests to facilitate the cultivation of plants for fuels also strips away the positive effects of plant fuels for our climate. Therefore urges the EU to focus on measures to improve energy efficiency and reduce fossil fuel consumption;

24. Calls on the Member States, which have until now invested massively in old energy sources, to ensure that the necessary public and private investments are made in renewable energy sources, both for research and equipment;

25. Considers that the challenges presented by climate change should be viewed as a threefold opportunity: to invest in new technologies in order to promote environmental sustainability and enhance business competitiveness by using the propagation of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency as a horizontal objective, and, furthermore, as an opportunity, to complete the internal market for gas and electricity leading to priority grid access for renewables and to a more interconnected and secure supply and to promote a means of developing regional jobs which are not vulnerable to relocation (building insulation, renewable resources, etc.);

26. Emphasises that security of supply can be achieved by greater co-operation at regional level, both between and within Member States, by varying the energy mix, so as to avoid over-reliance on any one type of energy supply, and by varying the suppliers;

PROCEDURE

Title

A roadmap for renewable energy in Europe

Procedure number

2007/2090(INI)

Committee responsible

ITRE

Opinion by
  Date announced in plenary

REGI
26.4.2007

Enhanced cooperation – date announced in plenary

 

Drafts(wo)man
  Date appointed

Marian Harkin
12.4.2007

Previous drafts(wo)man

 

Discussed in committee

2.5.2007

 

 

 

 

Date adopted

7.6.2007

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

45

0

0

Members present for the final vote

Stavros Arnaoutakis, Elspeth Attwooll, Jean Marie Beaupuy, Bernadette Bourzai, Wolfgang Bulfon, Antonio De Blasio, Vasile Dîncu, Gerardo Galeote, Iratxe García Pérez, Eugenijus Gentvilas, Ambroise Guellec, Zita Gurmai, Gábor Harangozó, Filiz Husmenova, Mieczysław Edmund Janowski, Gisela Kallenbach, Tunne Kelam, Evgeni Kirilov, Miloš Koterec, Constanze Angela Krehl, Jamila Madeira, Sérgio Marques, Yiannakis Matsis, Miroslav Mikolášik, James Nicholson, Lambert van Nistelrooij, Jan Olbrycht, Maria Petre, Wojciech Roszkowski, Elisabeth Schroedter, Dimitar Stoyanov, Kyriacos Triantaphyllides, Vladimír Železný

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Jan Březina, Den Dover, Mojca Drčar Murko, Lidia Joanna Geringer de Oedenberg, Ljudmila Novak, Francisca Pleguezuelos Aguilar, Zita Pleštinská, Samuli Pohjamo, Christa Prets, Toomas Savi, Gheorghe Vergil Şerbu, László Surján

Substitute(s) under Rule 178(2) present for the final vote

 

Comments (available in one language only)

 


OPINION of the Committee on International Trade (5.6.2007)

for the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy

on a roadmap for renewable energy in Europe

(2007/2090(INI))

Draftsperson: Sajjad Karim

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on International Trade calls on the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

1.      Stresses that by 2030 renewable energy could provide 35% of the world's energy needs; calls on the Council and the Commission to promote its large-scale deployment, in all sectors, on a global level, coupled with adopting far-reaching energy efficiency policies;

2.   Calls on the Commission to seek a 0% tariff agreement in the Doha Development Round for environmentally preferable goods and services, notably renewable energy technologies as they are preferable to energy derived from fossil fuels; calls on the Commission to work towards building a consensus within the WTO on a definition for such goods and services, but recommends, as a starting point, a specific link to climate change; stresses that the elimination of tariffs would reduce the cost of grid-connected technologies and increase the affordability of these technologies in the portfolio of generating options available to electricity utilities, as well as level the playing field between some aid-financed goods and goods imported through normal market transactions; calls on the Commission, at the same time, to explore WTO-compatible mechanisms and climate friendly trade policies to address the issue of third countries which are not bound by the Kyoto Protocol;

3.      Regrets that conventional energy sources still receive an estimated USD 250-300 billion in subsidies per year, worldwide, which results in heavily distorted markets; stresses the need to phase-out subsidies for environmentally harmful energy technologies by simultaneously providing incentives to develop environmentally friendly technologies and re-directing funds to renewables;

4.      Calls on the Council and the Commission to ensure that the EU's bilateral agreements, particularly the new generation of Free Trade Agreements with emerging markets, address trade and investment in renewable goods and services and include provisions concerning the prevention of environmental dumping; suggests establishing Sustainable Development Forums between the parties, involving civil society, in order to encourage the exchange of good corporate practice, promote technology transfer and facilitate cooperation in research and development; supports the Commission's proposal for an Africa-Europe partnership on energy; also supports joint ventures with China and India, particularly regarding trade and technology transfer of wind and solar renewable energy technologies; calls on the Commission to ensure that energy, and particularly the question of renewable energy and efficiency and their connection to energy security, becomes an integral part of all external EU relations, with a particular emphasis on the European Neighbourhood policy;

5.      Calls on the Commission to argue, in the context of the WTO agreements, for account to be taken of the ‘sustainability impact assessment’ method, and thus to assess over the long term how far the classification of environmental goods in the field of renewable energy sources is being properly taken into account in bilateral and multilateral agreements;

6.      Stresses that the global market for renewable energy is growing dramatically, so that in 2006 its turnover was USD 38 billion, which was 26% more than the previous year; stresses that, as one of the most advanced, knowledge-driven economies in the world, Europe should easily establish a comparative advantage in the export of renewable energy technologies and services; welcomes the decision on an EU-wide target for renewable energy; calls, however, for ambitious EU-wide mandatory sectoral targets for electricity, heating and cooling and biofuels;

7.      Calls on the Council and the Commission to ensure that bilateral agreements between the EU and third countries are also assessed on the aspects of ecology and social compatibility;

8.   Stresses the importance of limiting growth in energy consumption, given the problems relating to climate change and security of supply; calls on the Commission to impose strict efficiency standards for all energy consuming products;

9.      Points out that in the field of renewable energy sources the European Union also has a responsibility to enable developing countries to develop climate-friendly technologies; calls on the Commission to provide incentives by means of suitable supporting finance and the transfer of know-how;

10.    Stresses that the next 10-15 years provide an investment window for the Union to encourage a global shift towards renewable energy sources and green technologies; calls on the Commission to promote public-private-partnerships for research and development of renewable energy technologies and for the integration of renewable energies with hydrogen in order to foster energy security and decrease dependence on imported energy sources; stresses the need to create a stable investment environment for renewable energy projects and to foster fair competition in the electricity market, particularly in the developing world, where such technologies will make their greatest contribution; calls on the Commission to work with third countries in order to develop innovative mechanisms to finance small-scale projects, particularly in the developing world;

11.    Regrets that the poorest developing countries will be hit earliest and hardest by climate change, even though they have contributed little to the causes of the problem; regrets that more than one quarter of the world's population has no access to modern energy services; stresses that the Millennium Development Goal of halving the proportion of people living on less that USD 1 a day by 2015 will not be achieved without access to affordable energy services; stresses that, in order to move the developing world onto a sustainable path, it is more urgent than ever for the developed countries to honour their existing commitments to double aid flows by 2010; suggests donors and multilateral development institutions mainstream and support adaptation to renewable energy technologies throughout their assistance to developing countries;

12.    Stresses the need for further promotion of the production and use of first and second generation biofuels as alternative energy sources; underlines the very important role of the development of first generation biofuel crops for the future of European farmers who have been affected by the CAP and Sugar CMO reform; stresses that production should not negatively impact food production or lead to deforestation; insists on measures to ensure sustainability throughout the whole production cycle; calls on the Commission to pursue a WTO-compatible, sustainability certification scheme for all biofuels;

13.    Calls on the Commission to guarantee fair international trade in biodiesel within the WTO framework and to take action against the distortion of the European market caused by highly subsidised biodiesel exports from third countries;

14.    Stresses that deforestation, particularly in the case of palm oil and soya beans, could lead to the devastation of the last remaining rainforests in Borneo and the Amazon region; emphasises that policies on strengthened and sustainable forest-management should be country-led and calls on the Commission to provide financial and technical assistance in this regard; stresses that assistance from the international community should take into account the opportunity costs of alternative uses of land, the costs of administering and enforcing protection and the challenges of managing the political transition as established interests are displaced; stresses that, in order to avoid rural unemployment and rural-urban migration, complementary programmes to help identify new income sources are vital;

15.    Stresses the need to minimise problems associated with the disposal of component parts of renewable energy products at the end of their useful lives; notes that this is particularly relevant for the disposal of lead-acid solar batteries, given the toxicity and persistence of lead in the environment; calls on the Commission to ensure that mechanisms for safely collecting and recycling these component parts are put in place.

PROCEDURE

Title

A roadmap for renewable energy in Europe

Procedure number

2007/2090(INI)

Committee responsible

ITRE

Opinion by
  Date announced in plenary

INTA
26.4.2007

Enhanced cooperation – date announced in plenary

 

Drafts(wo)man
  Date appointed

Sajjad Karim
27.2.2007

Previous drafts(wo)man

 

Discussed in committee

11.4.2007

8.5.8007

 

 

 

Date adopted

4.6.2007

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

12

1

0

Members present for the final vote

Carlos Carnero González, Daniel Caspary, Françoise Castex, Christofer Fjellner, Béla Glattfelder, Eduard Raul Hellvig, Jacky Henin, Sajjad Karim, Erika Mann, Vural Öger, Georgios Papastamkos, Tokia Saïfi, Corien Wortmann-Kool

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

 

Substitute(s) under Rule 178(2) present for the final vote

 

Comments (available in one language only)

 


OPINION of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (5.6.2007)

for the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy

on a roadmap for renewable energy in Europe

(2007/2090(INI))

Draftsman: Willem Schuth

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development calls on the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

1.   Supports the promotion of renewables as part of the EU's climate-change strategy; calls for energy production from biomass not to take place to the detriment of food and non-food production capacity; stresses the importance of market mechanisms in allowing biomass energy sources to become competitive on a sustainable basis;

2.   Believes that the sustainable production of biomass, along with increased energy efficiency, the full exploitation of energy-saving potential and the use of other renewable energy sources, could contribute to security of supply as well as to reducing greenhouse gases and thus help achieve climate change objectives;

3.   Stresses that the production and importation of biofuels must simultaneously comply with two conditions: they must not increase the EU's energy dependence and they must be environmentally sustainable;

4.   Considers that the distributed production of energy from renewable sources offers alternative methods for heating, electricity production and transport and thus can contribute to increasing income in rural areas and have a positive impact on land use and agricultural employment;

5.   Calls on the Commission and Member States to inform the people of Europe about the opportunities afforded by renewable energy and the contribution which farmers make to exploiting these opportunities;

6.   Urges the Commission and Member States to rapidly transform the binding overall target of 20% into concrete, binding national targets;

7.   Urges the Member States to implement measures that guarantee a significant increase in the proportion of energy from renewable sources used for electricity and heating/cooling and a significant increase in the use of biofuels in each Member State;

8.   Supports the development, promotion and use of renewable energy sources as a means of increasing the EU's energy security;

9.   Calls on the Commission to leave Member States the flexibility to choose specific support mechanisms for renewable sources according to best practice; emphasises the excellence of regional, decentralised concepts which are crucial to the economic development of rural areas;

10. Encourages Member States to make better use of renewable energy sources (biomass, solar energy and geothermal energy) for cooling and heating;

11. Calls on the Commission to incorporate the issue of heating and cooling using renewable energy sources into future legislative proposals;

12. Calls on the Commission to encourage small-scale applications aimed at processing primary by-products on or near the farm, in order to promote innovation and sustainability in agriculture;

13. Urges the Commission, during the review of the set-aside scheme which is to take place in the context of the Health Check in 2008, to bear in mind that it is essential to take effective support measures for energy crops in order to achieve the sustainable intra-Community production of biofuels;

14. Recalls the need for the introduction of an EU mechanism such as a certification scheme which would guarantee sustainability of production of biofuels, encourage sustainability and apply to both domestically-produced biofuels and to imports; suggests that any such mechanism should not impose further administrative burdens on farmers;

15. Encourages Member States to support research and development for "first-generation" biofuels, whilst at the same time investing in "second generation" biofuels;

16. Calls on the Commission, in WTO negotiations, to give priority to the recognition of sustainability criteria as "non-trade concerns", with a view to disseminating sustainability objectives in the world and creating a level playing field for producers; in addition, calls on the Commission to adopt targeted measures against distortion of the European market by excessively subsidised biodiesel and biofuels from third countries.

PROCEDURE

Title

Roadmap for renewable energy in Europe

Procedure number

2007/2090(INI)

Committee responsible

ITRE

Opinion by
  Date announced in plenary

AGRI
26.4.2007

Enhanced cooperation – date announced in plenary

 

Drafts(wo)man
  Date appointed

Willem Schuth
27.2.2007

Previous drafts(wo)man

 

Discussed in committee

7.5.2007

5.6.2007

 

 

 

Date adopted

5.6.2007

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

29

1

0

Members present for the final vote

Vincenzo Aita, Peter Baco, Niels Busk, Luis Manuel Capoulas Santos, Giuseppe Castiglione, Albert Deß, Ioannis Gklavakis, Lutz Goepel, Bogdan Golik, Friedrich-Wilhelm Graefe zu Baringdorf, Esther Herranz García, Atilla Béla Ladislau Kelemen, Heinz Kindermann, Véronique Mathieu, Mairead McGuinness, Rosa Miguélez Ramos, Neil Parish, Radu Podgorean, Agnes Schierhuber, Willem Schuth, Czesław Adam Siekierski, Csaba Sándor Tabajdi, Marc Tarabella, Donato Tommaso Veraldi, Andrzej Tomasz Zapałowski

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Béla Glattfelder, Milan Horáček, Jan Mulder, Markus Pieper, Zdzisław Zbigniew Podkański

Substitute(s) under Rule 178(2) present for the final vote

 

Comments (available in one language only)

 


PROCEDURE

Title

A Roadmap for Renewable Energy in Europe

Procedure number

2007/2090(INI)

Committee responsible
  Date authorisation announced in plenary

ITRE
26.4.2007

Committee(s) asked for opinion(s)
  Date announced in plenary

AFET

26.4.2007

 

IMCO

26.4.2007

 

DEVE

26.4.2007

 

TRAN

26.4.2007

 

INTA
26.4.2007

 

REGI
26.4.2007

 

ECON

26.4.2007

 

AGRI
26.4.2007

 

ENVI
26.4.2007

 

Not delivering opinion(s)
  Date of decision

AFET

8.5.2007

DEVE

 

ECON

13.3.2007

IMCO

7.5.2007

TRAN

28.2.2007

Enhanced cooperation
  Date announced in plenary

 

 

 

 

 

Rapporteur(s)
  Date appointed

Britta Thomsen

 

Previous rapporteur(s)

 

 

Discussed in committee

11.4.2007

5.6.2007

25.6.2007

 

 

Date adopted

9.7.2007

Result of final vote

+

-

0

36

1

0

Members present for the final vote

John Attard-Montalto, Pilar del Castillo Vera, Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, Giles Chichester, David Hammerstein, Den Dover, Nicole Fontaine, Norbert Glante, Umberto Guidoni, Fiona Hall, Rebecca Harms, Erna Hennicot-Schoepges, Mary Honeyball, Ján Hudacký, Romano Maria La Russa, Anne Laperrouze, Angelika Niebler, Reino Paasilinna, Atanas Paparizov, Aldo Patriciello, Herbert Reul, Miloslav Ransdorf, Vladimír Remek, Mechtild Rothe, Paul Rübig, Andres Tarand, Britta Thomsen, Catherine Trautmann, Claude Turmes.

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Pilar Ayuso, Avril Doyle, Göran Färm, Neena Gill, Edit Herczog, Lambert van Nistelrooij, Hannes Swoboda

Substitute(s) under Rule 178(2) present for the final vote

Maria Badia i Cutchet

Date tabled

20.7.2007

Comments
(available in one language only)

 

Last updated: 13 September 2007Legal notice