Too soon for single European market for renewables says Commissioner Piebalgs

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A single European market for renewable energy to facilitate cross-border trade of green power looks more remote than ever. Speaking at the launch of the Global Wind Energy Council in Brussels last month, the EC's new Energy Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, said the Commission's report later this year on Europe's support systems for renewables would identify best practice and assess the support needed to continue stable growth of the sector. But he added: "Even though we operate within the rules of the internal market and a strong support to renewable energy sources is needed, I believe that it is premature to propose a harmonised European support scheme." Piebalgs said he is fully committed to ensuring Europe keeps on track towards its target of 12% of energy from renewables by 2010. In a departure from the policies of his predecessor, Loyola de Palacio, Piebalgs says he will not promote nuclear. "The Commission should neither promote nor speak against nuclear energy," he told Danish newspaper Jyllands Posten last month. He adds that it is up to the nuclear industry to explain its case. "I don't expect others to do it for them." Piebalgs believes cleaner and more efficient use of coal together with increased use of renewables is the key to meeting the EU's Kyoto commitments.

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