EU ministers meet in Spain to discuss the future of European energy | Environment| All topics from climate change to conservation | DW | 14.01.2010
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EU ministers meet in Spain to discuss the future of European energy

EU ministers are meeting informally in Spain to discuss what European energy policy will be like in the future. A mix of sustainable energy sources and infrastructure connecting countries could reduce emissions.

Solar cells in Germany.

A mix of sustainable energy sources is planned in Europe.

Nearly a month after the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, European Union ministers are meeting in Seville to discuss the future of energy in Europe.

An informal council meeting will focus on the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan and the European Energy Action Plan for 2010-2014, which addresses environmental sustainability along with the security of European energy supplies.

The meeting will continue through Sunday and coincides with an informal meeting of the European Ministers of Energy and Environment, to be held Friday and Saturday, also in Seville.

Antonio Hernandez Garcia, director general for Energy Policy and Mines at the Spanish Ministry of Industry, said: 'Energy policy cannot be conceived without sustainability.'

A gas flame burns on a stove.

Conflicts about energy sources such as natural gas could be avoided.

Hernandez Garcia stated Spain will work to diversify European energy sources and develop infrastructure connecting countries during the term of its European Union presidency. Doing so may help avoid conflicts similar to those over gas, which have occurred between Russia and the Ukraine.

Alternative energies analyzed by the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan include: solar, thermal-solar and photovoltaic and wind power on land and sea.

Rainer Hinrichs-Rahlwes, vice president of the European Renewable Energies Federation, said despite the Copenhagen conference results ministers would do well to work on an agreement increasing the planned cut in European emissions from 20 to 30 percent from 1990 levels by 2020.

'It would certainly be sensible to reach an agreement within the European Union very early on,' he said.'It must be made clear that we need to continue with higher goals than planned. These goals can be reached with renewable energy sources.'

Author: Gerhard Schneibel

Editor: Anke Rasper

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