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Change of mind by EC on need to create single regulatory framework for renewables

EUROPE: Harmonising all aspects of the wind industry across Europe is unnecessary and unworkable, the European Commission insisted on Thursday.

Europe's wind sector should not be harmonised, says EC
Europe's wind sector should not be harmonised, says EC

Speaking at a Council of European Energy Regulators (CEER) workshop in Brussels, Niels Ladefoged, policy offer in the Commission's transport and energy division (DG Tren), said "harmonisation is not always necessary or the right way forward".

"We can agree on where we want to be, but to get there we may have to select different paths", he said, suggesting that member states with a high level of wind penetration and those with very little wind energy could have different needs.

Ladefoged said discussions on the EU renewables directive had only been able to continue constructively when talks of harmonising EU support for wind had been dropped and said trying to force further harmonisation could "risk wasting lots of time".

CEO EWEA Christian Kjaer, agreed that any harmonisation "must reflect differences" in the 27 EU countries, but said that an alignment of the rules was "important" as a first step towards a European supergrid.

"The Greek and Spanish orange markets need lorries so that everybody in Europe can eat cheap oranges," said Kjaer. "An EU supergrid should play the same role in the power market."

The CEER will use today’s discussion to inform its ongoing consultation on the relationship between wind power and the EU energy network. Interested parties can comment until February 18 and final conclusions will be published this summer.

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