Select Committee on European Communities Twelfth Report


Call for Evidence

The following call for evidence was issued in January 1999, with a request for material to be submitted by the end of February 1999.

Sub-Committee B of the House of Lords Select Committee on the European Communities is undertaking an enquiry into renewable energy in the European Union. The enquiry is based on the European Commission's as yet unpublished draft Directive on access of electricity from renewable energy sources to the internal market in electricity. The Committee will also look at wider issues of the economic and technological potential of renewable energy in the European Union, drawing on the Commission's November 1997 White Paper Energy for the future: Renewable sources of energy.

Evidence is invited on the subject of renewable energy, in particular on the following issues:

1.  (a)  How realistic is the Commission's target of 12 per cent of primary energy from renewables in the European Union by 2010?

  (b)  How realistic is the interim 5 per cent target of electricity from renewables in the United Kingdom by 2005?

  (c)  How likely are Member States, particularly the United Kingdom, to achieve these targets?

2. Current technologies available to meet these targets and likely future developments.

3. The economic viability of renewable energy technologies when compared to traditional energy sources both now and in the future.

4. Environmental effects of renewable energy sources, and other benefits.

5. The benefits and drawbacks of the different support systems for renewable energy sources in place in Member States.

6. The criteria which should govern the terms of access of renewable energy sources to the single electricity market - in particular, how fair competition can be promoted between:

  (i)  alternative sources of renewable energy; and

  (ii)  renewable and conventional sources of energy.

7. Potential problems with certification of electricity from renewable sources.

8. Potential problems integrating renewable energy within the electricity system, either at national or at local level.

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