EU must focus on CO2 say Dutch power firms

Dutch energy sector organisation EnergieNed says the ‘numerous obligations’ contained in the European Commission’s new energy proposals, published yesterday, ‘limit the freedom of energy companies in their mix of energy sources and undermine the free energy market’.

A better solution, it says, would be to set a single, long-term European target for CO2 reduction. This would guarantee ‘affordable, clean and secure’ energy in the future and give investors the clarity they need to make decisions.
‘On the one hand, a great deal of effort has been put into the creation of a truly free energy market. At the same time, the rules of such a free market are violated through the setting of targets for CO2 reduction, sustainable energy [from 12% to 20% of total consumption by 2020], energy saving [20%] and biofuels,’ says EnergieNed.
EnergieNed said it acknowledges the EC’s ‘positive assessment’ of the Dutch energy market which it says is one of the few in Europe working as intended.
The business community is also unhappy with the EC’s plans. But its main objection is the proposal for Europe to continue with CO2 reduction targets even if other industrialised countries will not sign up to an international approach. The EC wants an international reduction of 30% (from the 1990 level) but said the EU should go ahead with a 20 percent reduction even if there is no wider agreement.
But Dutch environment minister Pieter van Geel told today’s Financieele Dagblad that a 20 percent reduction in CO2 emissions is the ‘minimum’, a view shared by environmental organisations.

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