Draft EU legislation to speed up major energy infrastructure projects was voted through the European Parliament’s lead committee today.
The Industry, Trade, Research and Energy committee backed the Guidelines for Trans-European Energy Infrastructure regulation, a proposal to establish rules for identifying important energy projects and streamlining permitting procedures. Greenpeace welcomes most of the proposal, saying that a modern energy grid is essential for the continued growth of renewable energy.
Greenpeace spokesperson Tara Connolly said: “All sides agree that an efficient, modern European energy grid is a top priority. This law is about removing hurdles, opening up energy markets and allowing more renewable power into the system. So long as environmental protection is not compromised, we strongly support it.”
The committee failed to reject preferential treatment for carbon capture and storage infrastructure under the current proposal. This technology could provide a lifeline to polluting coal power plants and divert investment away from proven clean energy projects, Greenpeace said. Energy ministers should remove such support when they consider the draft legislation.
Grid operators across Europe are reporting that a third of big infrastructure projects are beset by years of delay. The law aims to shorten planning consent from a current average of over seven years to a maximum of three. It should help investment towards the estimated €200bn needed by 2020 to modernise Europe’s energy infrastructure .
 See the Commission’s impact assessment here: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=SEC:2011:1233:FIN:EN:PDF
Tara Connolly – Greenpeace EU energy policy adviser: +32 477 790 416,
Greenpeace EU pressdesk: +32 (0)2 274 1911, pressdesk.
This press release is also available on: www.greenpeace.eu
For breaking news and comment on EU affairs: www.twitter.com/GreenpeaceEU