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Parliamentary questions
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13 November 2013
Answer given by Mr Oettinger on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: P-011809/2013

The Commission has the firm intention to establish the figures on financial support to energy across all technologies and to make them public. Such a comprehensive analysis is currently not available. The assessment of the costs of support for the various types electricity generation is complex. It must reflect investments and operating costs, including network and balancing costs and all related external costs such as emissions and waste disposal. To subsidise these costs, Member States use a number of different tools and instruments, including tax breaks, fees and levies added to consumer bills and direct subsidies. Some of these forms of support fall under the EC law definition of state aid whereas others do not. The OECD(1) and IEA(2) have developed methodologies to calculate the amount of subsidy for fossil fuels and renewables. However, these studies are not comparable and not fully applicable to the situation of electricity production in the EU. Importantly, they do not cover all EU Member States and they do not cover subsidies to all relevant technologies. As a result they do not in themselves provide a sufficient basis for the formulation of future EU energy policy. We do however need such a basis. The Commission therefore intends to deepen its own analysis of comparative costs across all technologies. In this context the Commission will integrate its own preliminary analysis based on currently available information in the upcoming report on drivers for energy prices. An in-depth study on full costs and subsidies of the various technologies in the electricity sector should be available by June 2014.

(1)See http://www.oecd.org/site/tadffss/; the analysis covers direct budgetary transfers and tax expenditures that provide a benefit or preference for fossil-fuel production or consumption. Beyond this, externalities of conventional fuels in terms of their social and health costs have been estimated at an annual EUR40bn for the EU health systems.
(2)International Energy Agency, 2012 World Energy Outlook http://www.worldenergyoutlook.org/

OJ C 218, 10/07/2014
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