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Renewables in Europe: MEPs take big step towards energy market reform

Renewables in Europe: MEPs take big step towards energy market reform
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MEPs have decided to impose strict rules on mechanisms often used as coal power subsidies and to support small-scale renewable energy producers. But the European Parliament now faces the fight of its life to convince member states of its ambitious position.

Lawmakers took a step towards new EU electricity market rules on Wednesday (21 February), during a vote on two draft reports by EPP MEP Krišjānis Kariņš that form the tail-end of the European Commission’s 2016 Clean Energy Package.

Industry and energy committee (ITRE) MEPs voted in favour of strict rules for so-called capacity mechanisms, which will no longer be eligible for subsidies as of 2020 for new infrastructure and as of 2025 for existing plants.

Friends of the Earth Europe praised the decision but asked whether “recalcitrant member states will follow the Parliament’s lead and put energy in the hands of the people, or keep Europe tied to corporate polluters driving us to dangerous climate change?”

Capacity mechanisms emerged as one the main talking points of the legislation, after EU climate boss Miguel Arias Cañete and a number of green MEPs and groups threw their weight behind a part of the Commission’s proposal that suggested excluding any plants that emit more than 550g of CO2 per kwh from public money.

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