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UK, Poland and Germany plan EU renewables pact

Conferences

Germany, Britain and Poland plan to table proposals at this week’s meeting of European Union energy ministers that would allow nations to join forces in pursuing their renewable energy targets, diplomats said on Thursday.

“We’ve always said in the UK we’re committed to meeting our fair share of the EU renewables target, but you have to be pragmatic,” a British diplomat told Reuters on the sidelines of Thursday’s meeting of environment ministers. “We’re committed to doing a significant proportion in the UK, and that’s why we’re looking at things like offshore wind and the Severn Barrage... but we’ve always argued for flexibility in how you could deliver the target.”

The European Union plans to get 20% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020 as part of ambitious plans to cut CO2 emissions by a fifth by the same date, compared to 1990 levels. A German diplomat confirmed the proposals would be presented at Friday’s meeting of EU energy ministers. The three countries will propose that EU members that overshoot their renewable targets should be able to trade their excess cuts with other nations.

They will also propose that states can take on individual renewables projects together and divide the credit towards their national goals, and that nations can pool their national targets in a longer-term alliance and reach them together. “This would be a good way of showing the world how you can move to a low carbon economy in a cost effective way,” said the diplomat. Britain hopes to get 15% of its energy from renewables by 2020, and said in December every UK home could be supplied by wind power alone by then, by adding a further 25 gigawatts of offshore turbines.

It is also looking at a huge hydropower scheme across the Severn Estuary that could provide 6% of the country’s electricity. Germany already gets 12.5% of its electricity from renewable sources and has a successful system to support small-scale projects. Poland is seen as having huge potential for generating renewable energy from biomass. “Poland finds new alternative instruments of flexibility as a better tool for more effective fulfillment of 27 national renewables targets,” Polish Deputy Economy Minister Marcin Korolec told Reuters. (Reuters)

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