UK sabotages EU renewables targets
by David Masters
July 25, 2008
The Guardian newspaper reports that British negotiators at the European Union are trying to sabotage an EU directive on green energy.
A new EU directive proposes that member states give renewable energy – made using wind, solar or hydro power – easier access to their national grids by giving them priority.
However, negotiators from BERR, the UK’s business department, have proposed changes to the wording of the directive.
BERR wants the wording renewables ‘shall’ be given priority changed to renewables ‘may’ be given priority.
According to negotiators, using ‘shall’ could unbalance energy networks and put energy security in jeopardy.
Luxembourg MEP Claude Turmes said Britain’s amendments to the directive would take Europe ‘backwards’, weakening the potential of renewable energy.
However, a spokesperson for the Department of Business said that renewable operators don’t want priority access, but quicker access.
Despite these platitudes, most renewable electricity projects find gaining access to the national grid difficult and slow.
Over 5GW of electricity is currently awaiting connection to the grid, and new projects are given connection dates of 2015 and beyond.
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