Europe resists renewables while question mark hangs over nuclear

30 November 2006

European ministers have managed to reach a preliminary consensus on boosting renewable energy within the EU at a recent meeting. However, a number of countries object to binding renewable energy targets until agreement can be reached on the treatment of other low-carbon generation, notably nuclear.

The discussions came as a part of the on-going Strategic EU Energy Review, to be presented by the Commission in January, which is expected to possibly include new renewable energy targets after 2010.

The ministers agreed that renewable energies are important but some consider sacrosanct the premise that each member state should have the right to decide on its own energy mix.

Energy commissioner Andris Piebalgs said that mandatory targets were the best option to increase the share of renewable energy in Europe. However, French industry minister François Loos indicated that climate change mitigation should be the priority, pointing out that a significant proportion of France’s energy was already derived from low-carbon sources.

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