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Presidency Programme in the Energy Sector

Trans-European energy networks

Political agreement has already been achieved on a common Council position. It seems probable that agreement will be reached with the European Parliament on second reading. The concluding steps may occur during the Austrian Presidency.

The implementation of an open, fiercely competitive internal market for energy gives rise to the necessity to expand the required infrastructure for energy networks EU-wide. The European Parliament and the Council have therefore adopted guidelines for trans-European energy networks and identified projects for electricity and natural gas pipelines of common European interest. As a result of the accession of 10 new Member States, these guidelines for trans-European networks need to be amended, taking particular account of the situation of the accession countries, and provision for financing projects of common European interest. The proposal for new guidelines contains projects of European interest whose implementation would make an important contribution to an efficient and appropriately structured energy network, and contribute to the security of supply for the whole of Europe, as well as the further development of the European internal market. Agreement now needs to be reached quickly with the European Parliament.

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Promotion of electricity generation from renewable energy sources

The European Commission will analyse the reports from the Member States and submit a summary report to the European Parliament and the Council by 31 December 2005 on the implementation of the directive in question.

The report will highlight progress in internalising the external costs of electricity generated from non-renewable energy sources and the impact of public subsidies on electricity generation. It will also discuss Member States’ prospects of achieving the national indicative targets set in the directive, the global indicative target and any unequal treatment of energy sources.

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Progress in the creation of the internal market for electricity and natural gas

The reports provided for in the directives mentioned above, which have to contain a detailed presentation of progress in creating the internal market for electricity and natural gas, have to be submitted by the European Commission to the European Parliament and the Council by 1 January 2006 at the latest.

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Improvement of energy end-use efficiency

Political agreement on a common position has already been reached. Efforts will be made to achieve an agreement with the European Parliament (EP) on second reading under the UK Presidency, but so far the positions of the Commission and the EP on the one hand and the Council on the other are widely divergent. Work on the proposed legal act may therefore continue into the Austrian Presidency.

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Biomass action plan

The Action Plan has been announced for the final quarter of 2005.

The European Commission's Biomass Action Plan (BAP) is intended to contribute to ensuring that the quantities of biomass required to achieve the EU’s overall target for a doubling of the share of renewable energy sources in primary energy consumption, from the current approximately six per cent to twelve per cent by 2010, are actually mobilised.

The Biomass Action Plan will take the form of a Communication to the European Parliament and the Council and contain recommendations for measures to increase biomass use for energy purposes in the EU 25.

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Green Paper on energy efficiency

Official title: European Commission Green Paper on Energy Efficiency or "Doing more with less", COM(2005) 265 fin.

The Green Paper on energy efficiency was submitted by the Commission at the end of June 2005.

http://europa.eu.int/comm/energy/efficiency/doc/2005_06_green_paper_book_en.pdf

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Green Paper on security of supply

In the framework of the EU's energy relations with non-member countries, the European Commission is expected to submit a Green Paper by the end of 2005 on security of supply, which will probably follow on from the issues in the 2000 Green Paper. The Commission is likely to place even greater emphasis in this paper on energy supply aspects in an overall European context, in particular cooperation with its most important supplier countries and regions, such as Russia and the Middle East.

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South East Europe Energy Community

The priorities in relation to external energy relations depend on progress made under the UK Presidency.

It is important to note, however, that Austria was granted both the temporary and permanent seat of the secretariat of this Community at the Ministerial Conference of the South East Europe Energy Community on 13 December 2004, chaired by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Labour (BMWA). The temporary secretariat has already taken up its duties. It will be transformed into a permanent body when an international treaty, which has already been negotiated, comes into effect as planned in 2006. This means that a fourth major international energy institution will be based in Vienna, alongside OPEC, the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP).

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Austrian Conference "Energy Paths - Horizon 2050"

The conference “Energy Paths - Horizon 2050” (in which the Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology will participate) is scheduled to take place on 16 March 2006 in the Auersperg Palace in Vienna: at this event, options for sustainable energy supply within this time horizon will be advanced and discussed, with the focus on the necessary technology choices this implies.

Security of supply and environmental compatibility are key themes of European energy policy and also for the Austrian EU Presidency. The technology policy measures concerned include, in particular, the preparation of the Framework Programme of Research, Technological Development and Demonstration and its sub-programmes; the establishment of structures such as the technology platforms and joint technology initiatives.

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Date: 22.12.2005