Brussels, 30 Nov 2004
The EU Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council welcomed the Commission's intention to draw up a European biomass action plan on 29 November, emphasising that it must address research.
Ministers called for the plan to be based on scientific data and commercial experience, and to include an analysis of the potential of biomass in three areas: electricity; heating and cooling; and transport. The action plan should also tackle research and development (R&D), state the Council conclusions.
Discussions on renewable energy in general led to an agreement on the need for enhanced cooperation in order for sources with high potential and economic potential to make a significant contribution to meeting EU targets on renewable energy: 'there is a need for enhanced cooperation and planning between European network operators, the competent authorities and, where appropriate, the European Commission, notably on electricity grid integration issues, for joint R&D efforts focusing on further cost reductions of supporting technologies and for an improved exchange of information on the environmental implications of these technologies.'
Ministers emphasised that the development of renewable energy should be given 'adequate priority in Community funding', and proposed the Seventh Framework Programme, the European Regional Development Fund, the Cohesion Fund and the next Intelligent Energy-Europe programme as potential sources of this funding. Financial support should not stop at research, however. The Council conclusions also call for 'due attention' to be paid to 'the need to address the gap between the demonstration and market phases of renewable technologies.' To access the Council conclusions, please click here