EU Energy Commissioner calls for joint promotion of renewable energies

In an interview with Germany’s Wirtschaftswoche, or Business Week, the commissioner called for "enhanced coordination and harmonization" in the medium term, regarding renewable energy development in Europe.

He said photovoltaic and wind park investors should "choose locations not just domestically, but also Europe-wide." However, he added that his can only function with "standardized European funding."

In terms of Germany’s energy policy, Oettinger further called for a "speed limit" to be applied to the expansion of photovoltaics. "The EEG [renewable energy law] was a good start, from zero to three percent of photovoltaics," he said, adding that now one must "align cost and infrastructure" for solar subsidies.

The Christian Democrat Union politician went on to criticize the fact that photovoltaics "built with the technology available today", must be then financed over 20 years. Thus, "all the technological progress that will come later" will pass Germany by, he believes.

Oettinger predicts that the 52 GW photovoltaic installation goal set by the German government – which will see the end of subsidies in Germany – will be reached in 2015. Currently, around 31 GW are installed in the country.

Regarding Germany’s energy transition, he further stated that the country must coordinate more with its neighboring lands, and that a "fundamental EEG reform" is necessary. This will only come with rising electricity prices via the EEG levy, or with risks to the security of energy supply, he added.

Translated by Becky Beetz.