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EU policy row over market monitoring for wind energy projects

EUROPE: The European Commission should be notified of even small-scale wind projects under a new regulation designed to enable the body to monitor EU energy markets more closely.

The European Parliament proposal conflicts with plans by representatives of the European Council of Ministers, who say data should only be handed over to Brussels for investments in wind farms of over 20MW.

The call by the European Parliament for investments in wind projects of more than 5MW onshore and 20MW offshore to be notified to the commission has been welcomed by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), which says it better reflects the reality of investments in today's electricity sector.

"The council's approach would miss at least one-third of all new onshore wind power installations and give European policy makers a completely false picture of new electricity installations," says Paul Wilczek, EWEA regulatory affairs advisor.

The new regulation would require that every two years from 2011, EU member states collect and share data on energy infrastructure investment projects and major projects for district heating and cooling and carbon dioxide capture, and transport and storage, including interconnections with non-EU countries.

Energy companies would be obliged to provide data to member states on capacities, locations, timetables and technologies used in the interest of security of supply, and comments on delays and obstacles encountered during the implementation of the projects.

The Parliament says it also wants co-decision rights on this issue to give it the same power as the Council of Ministers over the final shape of the legislation.

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