EU Energy Ministers discussed two key energy papers at today’s TTE (Energy) Council in Brussels: the Communication on the Internal Energy Market and the ‘ILUC’ legislative proposal amending the Directives on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources and on fuel quality.
The Council held a policy debate on the Communication on the Internal Energy Market on the basis of questions put to Member States by the Irish Presidency prior to the meeting. Two key questions were highlighted: the completion of the internal energy market, and consumers. A summary of the debate will now be forwarded by the Presidency to the President of the European Council as part of the preparation of the European Council to be held on 22 May, which will focus on energy matters.
It is also intended that the input from today’s debate will be used in the preparation of draft Council conclusions to be finalised at the second Energy Council under the Irish Presidency to be held in Luxembourg on 7 June.
Minister Rabbitte – “The 500 million citizens of the EU who are consumers (and in some cases, producers) of energy are at the heart of our drive to complete the Internal Energy Market.”
Speaking in Brussels today, the Irish Minister for Energy, Pat Rabbitte, who chaired the Council meeting said:
“The completion of the Internal Energy Market, a goal set by the European Council in February 2011, is our most urgent objective. The outcome of today’s deliberations have provided added impetus to our efforts to achieve effective implementation of real and lasting benefits to our citizens as energy consumers. The 500 million citizens of the EU who are consumers (and in some cases, producers) of energy are at the heart of our drive to complete the Internal Energy Market. There is an urgency to ensuring that they realise the full benefits of the Internal Energy Market, and that they play an increasingly active role and become a driving force in the market, in the realisation of that objective. I welcome the extremely constructive debate held here today and believe we can build on this progress by agreeing conclusions at the June Council that will redouble our efforts to complete the internal market for energy.”
An orientation debate was also held on the ILUC proposal for a Directive amending the current Directives on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources and on fuel quality. Two questions were tabled by the Presidency; one based on identifying strengths and challenges contained in the proposal; the other provided the opportunity to view the proposal from both the energy and climate change policy perspectives and set it in the broader context of energy policy objectives including the existing 2020 targets for renewables, competitiveness, and security of supply. The Environment Council will hold an orientation debate on this file on the basis of the same questions on 21 March.
Minister Rabbitte also said:
“I welcome the outcome of today’s debate on the Commission’s proposal to address the issues of indirect land-use change associated with the production of certain biofuels. There was a broad spectrum of views and positions articulated during the debate which addressed issues pertaining to enterprise, energy and climate change policy. However, there was a broad consensus among Ministers that the possible negative impacts of indirect land-use change need to be tackled. The discussion underlines the complexity of the proposal but also show that there is a shared view on the need to adequately address environmental concerns. Energy Ministers have highlighted today the issues that need to be resolved and our deliberations will act as a guide during future discussions on the proposed Directive.”
The ‘ILUC’ legislative proposal is aimed at addressing the complex issue of the impact of indirect land use change (ILUC) on greenhouse gas emissions from biofuels. ILUC is a measure used in the European Union to meet renewable energy targets.