Call for EU Directive support

Friday, July 25, 2008

Britain’s major wind energy association has called on the government to back EU measures aimed at ensuring renewable projects have equal access to grid connection.

The BWEA says the government should stand behind a “Connect and manage” policy which is aimed at ensuring wind energy developers get grid access within the time taken to obtain planning permission for their projects.

“Connect and Manage” would encourage the take up of renewables, as renewable energy suppliers could install capacity knowing that it will be connected as soon as the build-out is finished,” says the BWEA.

The policy is contained within the wording of a new EU Renewables Directive which requires member states to source 20% of their power from renewable energy sources by 2020.

Yesterday the UK’s Guardian newspaper carried a story saying the UK government was attempting to block EU legislation designed to boost the take up of renewable energy through the Renewables Directive.

According to the newspaper, the architect of the new EU legislation, Claude Turmes, a Member of the European Parliament for Luxembourg, Britain was seeking to change part of the new legislation which says: “Member states shall also provide for priority access to the grid system of electricity produced from renewable energy sources,” with the UK government accused of trying to water down the rule by seeking to change the word “shall” to “may.”

Grid connection has been one of the major issues holding back new wind farms, the renewable energy industry has argued.