Europe allocates €5.1 billion for energy, including solar15. February 2013 | Global PV markets, Industry & Suppliers, Investor news, Markets & Trends | By: Max Hall
As the dust settles following all-night negotiations between Europe's heads of state over the next EU budget, the embattled solar industry has been digesting news of an increase of 20% for the energy budget to 2020.
A European Council spokesman was unable to confirm to pv magazine how much had been shaved off the original planned figure for the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) as an austerity-driven group of national leaders, led by British Prime Minister David Cameron, locked horns with EC President Herman Van Rompuy.
The spokesman confirmed only that a budget of €29.3 billion has been agreed for the CEF for the years 2014-2020, a rise of 129.2% on the amount provided for 2007-13.
Of that figure, €5.1 billion will be set aside for energy projects, of which implementing smart grids and modernizing the European grid network to accommodate solar photovoltaic and other renewables, will form a major component.
That represents a 20% premium on the previous energy budget or, in Eurospeak, Multi-Annual Framework (MUF).
But the other two aspects of the CEF – transport and telecommunications – enjoyed much larger budget increases of 174.9% and a huge 1071%, respectively.
The EC spokesman told pv magazine annual budgets for each of the seven years are yet to be decided and the specific funding for smart grids is also yet to be allocated.
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