MEP attacks 'wasteful' renewable energy projects

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The European Commission has been urged to implement a single EU-wide policy on renewable energy to avoid money being "wasted" on inefficient projects by national governments.

Speaking during a debate on 20 May 2013, Polish centre-right MEP Lena Kolarska-Bobinska said renewable energy policies were currently "muddled".

She said a single renewable energy market would prevent "money being frittered away on projects such as solar panels in countries where the sun doesn't shine, just because that country's government is offering subsidies".

The debate focused on a report by the Industry and Energy Committee that urges the Commission to set more targets and milestones to work towards renewable energy making up at least 30% of the EU's energy mix by 2030.

Renewable energy projects currently cover a wide range of sources, including wind, solar, geothermal, and tidal power.

Many MEPs from the Environment Committee - which contributed to the report - have called for a greater use of biomass to provide energy as well as using associated products such as biomethane to power cars and vans.

The European Commission has raised concerns that the EU may not be in on track to meet current targets, and Energy Commissioner G√ľnther Oettinger accused some governments of "retroactively cutting subsidies" since the start of the economic crisis to protect their existing energy manufacturers.

But British Liberal Democrat MEP Fiona Hall insisted that renewable energy was an "EU success story", saying it was a sector that had continued to grow despite the recession in many countries.

The report was formally adopted during the daily voting session on 21 May 2013.

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