Select Committee on European Union Fortieth Report


ELECTRICITY FROM RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES (15745/05)

Letter from the Chairman to Malcolm Wicks MP, Minister for Energy, Department of Trade and Industry

  Sub-Committee B considered this document and your Explanatory Memorandum at its meeting on 23 January 2006 and agreed to maintain the scrutiny reserve.

  We note that in your Explanatory Memorandum you express concerns over "actions and initiatives which might flow from (the Communication) and have implications in future". We would be grateful if you could clarify what possible actions and initiatives you have in mind. Furthermore, what steps will the Government take to ensure that an undesirable harmonisation of renewable energy support systems does not take place?

25 January 2006

Letter from Malcolm Wicks MP to the Chairman

  Thank you for your letter of 25 January. In response to your queries, the Communication itself has no direct implications, but actions and initiatives that may flow from it could have implications in the future. The Government agrees with the Commissions' conclusion that it would not be sensible to try and harmonise renewable energy support schemes at the present time. Moreover, given the great diversity of the different schemes operating across Europe, and the long term certainty that investors require to develop renewable energy schemes, the Government also doubts whether a harmonised approach is either necessary or viable over the longer term.

  This comment was merely an acknowledgement of the possibility that at some future date the Commission might bring forward some proposals for harmonisation which we consider undesirable, difficult to implement or inconsistent with existing UK policy and legislation. I should stress that at this stage we are not aware of any Commission proposals or plans, which give rise to such concerns.

  With regard to the steps that the UK Government is taking to ensure that an undesirable harmonisation of renewable energy support system does not take place, we will be closely watching other EU energy initiatives and ideas which arise in the next few years which may give us an indication of the Commission's preference in terms of a support scheme. We will work to influence those decisions but as the Commission communication acknowledges the difficulties of a harmonised scheme, we doubt that they would choose a particular route without considerable consultation, which we would of course, actively contribute to and ensure that our interests are represented.

13 February 2006

Letter from the Chairman to Malcolm Wicks MP

  Thank you for your letter of 13 February 2006 in response to mine of 25 January which Sub-Committee B considered at its meeting on 6 March 2006.

  Members were reassured by your assurance that you are not aware of any Commission proposals or plans which would bring forward proposals for undesirable harmonisation in this area. We are therefore content to lift scrutiny at this stage, and would be grateful to hear of any future developments.

8 March 2006



 
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