Wind wire: EU proposal

Under a proposed EU regulation, energy companies and EU member states must inform the European Commission (EC) about planned and ongoing investment in all energy infrastructure projects, including renewables.

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"The commission is interested in monitoring whether investment projects will become a reality in time to meet future demand while satisfying our energy and climate targets," says EU energy commissioner Andris Piebalgs.

This is of "particular concern at a time when a severe financial and economic crisis is causing cuts and delays to energy investment and is increasing uncertainty related to future energy projects." While the wind industry welcomes the idea, it is concerned about the continuing exclusion of smaller projects from the legislation. The commission initially proposed that projects of less than 50 MW not be included in the monitoring exercise, but after lobbying by the renewables sector, it changed its mind.

For wind a 10 MW threshold applies onshore and 20 MW offshore. "We would have preferred this threshold to be set at 5 MW," says Christian Kjaer of the European Wind Energy Association. He is worried that by ignoring smaller projects, "the wrong signals will be given about where new infrastructure is needed." The EC expects member states to adopt the regulation early next year.


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