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European Commission - Press release

Renewable energy: French and Czech legislation still not in line with EU rules

Brussels, 24 November 2011 - The increase of Renewable energy share to 20% by 2020 in the EU overall energy consumption is a key EU objective for a more sustainable and competitive EU. The success relies a lot on the commitment of Member States to fully implement the requirements of the EU legislation. Therefore, the Commission has today formally requested through reasoned opinions to France and the Czech Republic to bring its national legislation on renewable energy in line with common agreed EU rules. If the Member States do not comply with their legal obligation within two months, the Commission may refer them to the Court of Justice.

The Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/EC ) had to be implemented by Member States by 5 December 2010. However, France and the Czech Republic have not yet informed the Commission of the full transposition of the directive into their national legislation.

The timely transposition of EU legislation is a priority for the Commission, especially since unnecessary delays in implementing may jeopardize the achievement of the EU renewable energy objective.

France and the Czech Republic have not yet fully transposed the requirements of the Renewable legislation including:

Access to the grid : the directive aims at removing administrative barriers to allow free access of renewable energy to the electricity grid and facilitate decentralised production of energy from renewable sources. Both Member States have not put in place transparent and clear administrative procedures to guarantee access of renewable energy to the grid.

Sustainability criteria of biofuels : neither France nor the Czech Republic have fully transposed the requirements on the sustainability criteria for biofuels and bioliquids, while the directive lays down criteria to ensure that only biofuels that have been produced in a sustainable way will count for the achievement of the EU renewable energy targets.

Background

The EU has committed itself to reach a 20% share of renewable energy in final energy consumption and to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20% as compared to 1990 levels by 2020. The regulatory framework laid down by the Renewable Energy Directive is a key element for reaching these objectives.

According to the directive, every Member State has to reach individual targets for the overall share of renewable energy in energy consumption. In addition, in the transport sector, all Member States have to reach the same target of a 10% share of renewable energy. Where biofuels are used to achieve this target, these must meet a set of sustainability requirements. This means that biofuels cannot be produced from areas which have a high biodiversity value, such as protected areas, or from areas that store a high amount of carbon, such as forests or peatlands. They also have to save a considerable amount more greenhouse gases than fossil fuels.

Further information

The Renewable Energy Directive can be consulted here .

Commission web page on renewable energy:

http://ec.europa.eu/energy/renewables/index_en.htm

Some concise information on the stages of an infringement procedure is available here .

Current figures on infringements in general can be found at:

http://ec.europa.eu/eu_law/infringements/infringements_en.htm

For more information on EU infringement procedures, see MEMO/11/824 .

Contacts :

Marlene Holzner (+32 2 296 01 96)

Nicole Bockstaller (+32 2 295 25 89)


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