Press release BoxID: 178396 (European Photovoltaic Industry Association)
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The photovoltaic industry welcomes Turmes draft report on the future Directive on Renewable Energies

(PresseBox) (Brussels, ) The draft report by Rapporteur Claude Turmes on the EU Directive on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources largely meets the European photovoltaic industry expectations, in particular with regard to the safeguarding of successful national support schemes (such as feed-in tariffs).

The proposal for a Directive on the use of energy from renewable sources was presented by the European Commission on 23 January 2008. Today the Industry, Transport and Energy (ITRE) committee of the European Parliament will debate the draft report published last week by Claude Turmes, Rapporteur on the Directive, for the first time. The draft largely meets the industry's expectations and even goes beyond the recommendations that EPIA had formulated on certain aspects.

EPIA recommended in particular that:
- Provisions on the transfer of Guarantees of Origin should be clarified in order to be legally sound and safeguard existing successful support schemes such as feed-in tariffs.
- Enforcement procedures should be strengthened in case of non-compliance by Member States to their national renewable-energy targets.

In his draft report, Turmes proposes the following amendments which are in line with EPIA recommendations:

- Binding interim target and introduction of direct penalties for Member States.

- More detailed national Renewable Energy Action Plans (RAPs). RAPs will facilitate benchmarking between Member States, monitoring of national efforts, and build on the past negative experience with National Energy Efficiency Action plans distinction made between Guarantees of Origin (for disclosure and labelling of green electricity) and Transfer Accounting Certificates (TACs) to be issued by Member States on a voluntary basis.

- Reduced administrative barriers. The report proposes in particular the set-up of "one-stop shops" that will deal with all administrative procedures. This should significantly facilitate the deployment of renewables.

The draft report even goes beyond the industry's expectations with provisions including:

- Renewable Energy Obligations in Buildings. For example, the Rapporteur proposes "plus energy buildings" becomes the standard for new buildings by 2015 at the latest.
- Stronger priority access to the grid for Renewable Energy producers is proposed.
- Access to public and private financing for RES projects is facilitated.

All of these elements are fully supported by EPIA.

EPIA regrets that the Rapporteur did not propose to clarify provisions regarding the certification of installers, especially by distinguishing certification from accreditation. EPIA also believes that the theoretical training for each technology should be described more precisely.

The Directive is expected to be adopted by mid- 2009 at the latest. Discussions will now be held in the European Parliament and in the Council. The European photovoltaic industry strongly invites the European Parliament and the Council to take on board the recommendations of Rapporteur Claude Turmes in the final Directive. The Directive will be the reference legal framework for the renewables sector from 2010 onwards.

European Photovoltaic Industry Association

With over 170 Members drawn from across the entire solar electricity sector, the European Photovoltaic Industry Association represents over 95% of the European photovoltaic industry. EPIA members are present throughout the whole value-chain of the photovoltaic industry: from silicon, cells and module production to systems development. EPIA's mission is to deliver a distinct and valuable service driven from the strength of a single European photovoltaic voice.