European policy consultants
Rural development and renewable energy

Transport and Energy Council:

The Council adopted conclusions on renewable energy (16205/12).

The renewable energy objective of achieving a binding target of a 20% of renewable energies in
overall EU energy consumption by 2020, set by the European Council in 2007, is one of the
headline targets in the Europe 2020 strategy for jobs and growth.

Building on the Commission communication (11052/12, Jubne '12), the Council conclusions set out lines for future action in support of renewables:

(i) internal electricity market opening,
(ii) better market integration of renewable energy,
(iii) cooperation and trade,
(iv) infrastructure and consumers,
(v) technology innovation and
(vi) sustainability.

The Council also considered the next steps towards a post-2020 renewables policy framework.

The Council agreed that stress that directive 2009/28/EC on renewable energy sources is providing certainty to investors and a stimulus up to 2020.

The Commission communication explains how renewable energy is being integrated into the single market. It gives some guidance on the current framework up to 2020 and outlines possible policy options for beyond 2020, to ensure continuity and stability, thereby enabling Europe's renewable energy production to continue to grow to 2030 and beyond.

The Council considered a progress report (16605/12) on the follow-up to the February 2011
European Council's conclusions on energy, and heard the Commission presentation of its communication "Making the internal energy market work", adopted on the 15 November.

The Council was briefed on the agreement reached with the European Parliament on the regulation on guidelines for trans -European energy infrastructure.

The agreement was reached on the 27 November and endorsed by the Permanent Representatives Committee on 30 November. To enter into force the text still needs formal approval in the Parliament and in the Council.

The new regulatory framework will help to modernise and expand Europe's energy infrastructure in order to allow the EU to meet its core energy policy objectives of competitiveness, sustainability and security of supply.

For more details see press release 17044/12.

The Council was briefed by the presidency and the Commission on events and developments in
international relations during the Cyprus presidency (16135/12).

The briefing included, amongst other issues, the Energy Charter Conference (Warsaw, 26-
27 November), the 10th meeting of the Ministerial Council of the Energy Community (Budva,
18 October), the EU-China relations, the EU-US Energy Council (Brussels, 5 December), the EU-Russia relations including the upcoming meeting of the EU-Russia Permanent Partnership Council on Energy (Cyprus, 12 December), the Strategic Group for International Energy Cooperation and information on Decision 994/2012/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing an information exchange mechanism for intergovernmental energy agreements.

The Irish delegation presented the incoming presidency's work programme in the energy sector

Its work will focus in particular on the legislative proposal on biofuels, including the proposed amendments to the renewables directive and the fuel quality directive, as well as on the
Commission communication on the internal energy market.

The informal ministers' meeting will take place on 23-24 April 2013 and the formal TTE (energy)
Councils on 22 February and 7 June 2013.