Germany ready to set the pace

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Germany is aiming to push through targets for renewable energy up to 2020 during its presidency of the EU in the first half of 2007, according to Michael Muller, parliamentary state secretary in Germany's environment ministry. The European Commission is otherwise against setting targets, at least for the time being (main story).

Speaking at last month's European Wind Energy Conference held in Athens, Greece, Muller said: "We need a more long term perspective than that provided by the current [renewable energy] Directive." He called on the Commission to submit proposals for the expansion of renewable energy sources out to 2020 before the end of 2006.

Europe also needs to deal with the issue of integrating wind power into the European power supply system, Muller said. Non-discriminatory grid access and more grid capacity is necessary for greater penetration of renewables, including offshore wind, he continued.

"Together with our partners, Germany will carry this process forward in an EU policy workshop which we will hold at the beginning of 2007. One outcome of this workshop is expected to be an action plan for the expansion of offshore wind energy utilisation in Europe."

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