Clarity needed on Europe’s renewables policies – Cefic

21 May 2013 17:48  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Greater clarity is required on the EU’s policy framework on renewable energy in order to prevent reduced competitiveness and other unintended consequences, a director of the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) said on Tuesday

Speaking following an announcement on Tuesday that the European Parliament has voted in favour of a proposal calling for binding targets on renewable energy by 2030, trade body Cefic energy director Peter Botschek told ICIS that Europe's renewable energy policy is suffering from unintended overlaps and contradictions.

“We are not very happy with this expectation of the European Parliament to call for a binding renewables target. We have had a binding target already, or we still have it for 2020,” Botschek said.

“We are concerned about [the level of overlapping legislation]. We are not against renewables, a lot of our products are essential for building renewables. The problem is that we are creating a parallel system here, and this leads to perverse effects which are unintended,” he added.

A consequence of the complexity of the current regulatory framework is that energy costs can be pushed up at a time when the European chemicals industry is already struggling to remain competitive in the face of strong international competition, Botschek added.

He said: “Currently we don’t see a large number of very promising projects by the Commission and that is why we are trying to press for more coherence, for a framework that does not increase energy costs.

“Many of the policies that are still in place and being implemented have one effect, pushing up the energy cost, and this is what Europe can least afford, when you look at the shale gas revolution happening in the US,” he added.

Speaking ahead of a meeting of European energy ministers on Wednesday, European Commission president Jose Barroso underlined Europe’s struggle to stay competitive, and called for a EU-wide consensus on shale gas and greater coordination between member states on renewables.

He said: “We must continue to strengthen the internal and external diversification of our supplies. Internally, it requires a more coordinated approach between member states on the positive rise of renewables.

“We need a balanced, union-wide approach on using the potential of unconventional hydrocarbons, such as shale gas, on which the Commission is preparing an initiative,” he added.

By: Tom Brown
+44 208 652 3214

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