Oettinger singles out states failing EU interconnection target

EUROPE: The UK and Spain are among the EU member states to be accused by energy commissioner Gunter Oettinger of failing to meet the 10% electricity interconnection goal agreed in 2002.

EC energy commissioner Gunter Oettinger
EC energy commissioner Gunter Oettinger

Writing in response to a question from Green MEP Reinhard Bütikofer, Oettinger said: "The [European] Commission considers that an increase of interconnections between member states is important especially to cope with the growing generation of electricity from renewable energy sources." He said Italy, Spain, Ireland, the UK and Poland were still falling short of the 2002 target.

 Bütikofer said a continuing low level of interconnectivity obstructed the uptake of renewable energy and damaged competition in the "oligopolistic electricity sector". The added this  ultimately hurt consumers and prevented the creation of a single European electricity market.

He added: "[Oettinger] needs to translate the importance he assigns to the topic into concrete actions in the upcoming Energy Infrastructure Package.

"Making the slowpokes catch up will not suffice. Increasing the overall connectivity target must be part of the new approach."

In March the European Commission announced it was handing out €910million to finance nine electricity interconnection projects in a second wave of funding from the Economic Recovery Package.

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