EU industry committee favors renewable energy FITs over quotas

21. March 2013 | Industry & Suppliers, Investor news, Markets & Trends | By:  Sandra Enkhardt

A European Committee has spoken out in favor Germany-style renewable energy (EEG) feed-in tariffs, as opposed to a European-wide quota model, despite opposition from the EU Energy Commissioner.

European Union flags

The majority of the committee favors FITs over a quota model.

With a view to harmonizing the promotion of renewable energy, an industry committee at the European Parliament is clearly in favor of a feed-in tariff modeled on that in Germany. According to Green Member of the Parliament, Hans-Josef Fell, a majority of the committee rejected a European-wide promotion of renewable energy via quota models.

In the final report, "Renewable energy challenges and opportunities in the European domestic market," it has been said that feed-in rates are cheaper than quota models. They also help create planning security and best support the conversion of the energy supply to renewables.

Thus, EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger and Herbert Reul suffered a crushing defeat: both were campaigning to replace national EEG support programs with a European-wide quota system.

Fell added that the report emphasizes the importance of renewables for the economy. It was further noted that the promotion of renewable energy is not an aid scheme and, therefore, does not distort competition.

Energy spokesman for the Green Party in the European Parliament, Claude Turmes said after the meeting that he was pleased that Reul, "as an avowed opponent of the EEG" has not been able to "mobilize a majority against the German system in the European Parliament."

The Greens did not manage to secure their demand for a 45% mandatory renewable energy expansion target by 2030, however. Furthermore, the industry committee has not included in the report the information that further subsidy increases for traditional energy sources like coal and nuclear power have led to a distortion of competition.

It is expected that EU parliament Members will vote on the report on April 15.

Translated and edited by Becky Beetz.

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