European energy policy

In December 2008, the European Parliament approved the climate and energy package proposed by the EU Commission at the beginning of 2008. As a consequence, the three targets defined by the EU - reduction of both energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions (CO2) by 20% and expansion of energy supplied by renewable energy sources to 20% of total energy consumption - have become legally binding and must be converted into national laws by the Member States. The previous goal of a 20% decline in greenhouse gas emissions was expanded to at least 30% by 2020 and 50% by the year 2050 based on new proposals made by the EU Parliament. Further measures and goals of Europe’s climate protection policy are expected to be agreed upon at the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December 2009. A detailed description of the overall regulatory and energy policy framework can be found in the EVN Sustainability Report on page 23.

In order to achieve the goals stipulated by the EU Parliament, the energy-intensive industrial sectors and the energy industry must reduce their CO2 emissions by 21% by the year 2020. Business sectors which are not required to take part in emissions trading (e.g. transport) are required to cut back their greenhouse gas emissions by at least 16%. One of the main instruments of the package of measures is EU-wide trading with CO2 emission certificates. The new CO2 emission guidelines stipulate that the practice of partially allocating emission certificates at no charge will cease. As a result, with the exception of the new Member States of Central and Eastern Europe, European utility companies will have to purchase all their emission rights as of the year 2013.

Based on the principle of “burden sharing”, which takes account of a nation’s potential, Austria is obliged to increase its share of renewable energy sources from 25.8% of total end-use energy consumption in 2005 to 34.0%. Greenhouse gas emissions in Austria will have to be cut back from 93.3m t per annum to 76.7m t in order to be able to fulfil the 20% CO2 savings target.

The target set for Bulgaria, EVN’s second largest electricity market and EU member since January 1, 2007, is to generate 16% of its total energy needs from renewable energy sources. The CO2 reduction goal of 8% compared to the base value of 75m t annually was already achieved in the year 2008.



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