Franco-German Ministerial Council Agrees to Coordinate Energy Policy Shifts – Energy Associations Want to Intensify Cooperation

At the 16th Franco-German Ministerial Council that took place yesterday in Paris, Germany and France agreed to coordinate the energy policy shifts both countries are undergoing in order to improve the competitiveness of their energy systems and gradually reduce CO2 emissions as well as to enhance the domestic and European security of supply. The German energy association BDEW and its French counterpart UFE pledged their support and said they wanted to work together more closely.

 1. Political Cooperation

A high level French-German working group shall be assigned to draw up a work programme listing the challenges associated with the energy transformation.

a) European Level (Targets, Renewable Support Schemes, Capacity Markets)

Important aspects on the European level were the following.

  • On the European level Germany and France seek the adoption of an ambitious energy and climate framework for the period leading up to 2030. At the same time this policy had to aim at strengthening the competitiveness and capability of innovation of the European industry, France and Germany said.
  • In accordance with the long-term goal of an 80 to 95% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the European Union by 2050, both countries support the proposal for a binding greenhouse gas emission reduction target of at least 40% by 2030 in the European Union made recently by the European Commission.
  • Both countries also support the proposal by the European Commission for a minimum share of renewable energy sources of 27% of the energy consumption in the European Union by 2030. They point out that the sovereignty of the member states regarding the individual energy mix and the flexibility of their national strategies in connection with renewable energy sources had to be respected. “We need a favorable European framework including rules for state aid that promote renewables and ensure the international competitiveness of our industries at the same time”, the press release states.
  • The states called for a steady approximation of the support schemes for renewables with the aim to increase their economic efficiency.
  • “To enhance the security of supply in view of a further expansion of renewable energy sources, capacity markets will be necessary. They need to be created in such a way that they comply with the internal market”, both countries said.

b) Industrial and Technological Cooperation

The main results in this area are as follows:

  • A French-German forum (Plattform) will be created with the aim to create industrial and technological partnerships with regard to networks, renewable energies, electricity storage and energy efficiency.
  • The transmission operators are requested to explore all possible areas of cooperation with the aim to strengthen the internal market and facilitate the energy policy shift.
  • A joint scientific and technological research plan for electricity storage shall be drawn up. Proposals for drafting the plan are expected by summer 2014.
  • Based on “existing industrial synergies” a partnership for the development of hydrogen and solar technologies shall be entered into.

2. BDEW/UFE Cooperation

BDEW and UFE called the integration of  renewable energy sources into the market and finding a transnational approach to secure supply the main objectives of their intensified cooperation. The first joint work concepts shall be available by the middle of the year. They shall be presented when the new EU Commission takes office. In the medium-term the French-German energy cooperation could serve as a role model for a general reform of the European (energy) market design, the associations said.

Source: BMWi; BDEW

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