THE EUROPEAN RENEWABLE ENERGIES FEDERATION
is a federation of associations from EU Member States, which are working in the sector of energy produced from renewable sources, such as small hydro, wind, tidal, wave, bioenergy, solar and geothermal sources.
On 22 February, the Energy Council discussed the Commission´s Communication on "Making the internal energy market work". Even though progresses have been made in some areas the Communication recalls that EU Member States are not on track to reach the completion of the internal energy market by 2014.
Renewables have the potential to provide reliable, secure domestic energy. Even more important, the costs of renewable energies are decreasing at a historical speed, some technologies having already reached or being very close to cost competitiveness. A major precondition for making markets function and renewable energy competitive is a level playing field without unfair subsidies for unsustainable and established technologies.
According to Dr. Fatih Birol, chief economist at the International Energy Agency (IEA), fossil fuel subsidies amounted to 500bn US $ worldwide in 2011. Apart from fossil fuel subsidies, subsidies for nuclear power are another major distortion which should not be accepted in the European Union. In this way, the “low carbon tone” adopted in the Communication that can be seen as a way to justify further support for the unsustainable nuclear technology at the detriment of renewable energies is unacceptable. Subsidies for nuclear energy certainly should not be green-washed as “low carbon” support for climate protection, as it unfortunately seems to be the Commission´s position.
Suggestions from Member States, such as the United Kingdom, to open financial support to nuclear with price and investment guarantees for 35 to 40 years at least is detrimental to any internal market development and to a change towards a sustainable EU energy market structure. Nuclear is not a technology of the future. The internal energy market only allows the support to infant technology and in very restricted ways. Nuclear Reactor Technology cannot and certainly no longer qualify as such and since decades. It has been deployed for more than 50 years and still is an uncompetitive, unsustainable and dangerous technology that cannot be part of the Energy transition the European Union has engaged in.
The internal energy market could be an effective tool to tackle the challenge of decarbonising power systems. However, there should be no space left for promotion of damaging and dangerous technologies. Public support for nuclear power should no longer be permitted, neither under the state aid regime because of the environmental and climate protection reasons. The Council of the European Union should clearly reject any new subsidies for fossil and to nuclear energy!