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close this bookSustainable Energy News - No. 14 September 1996 (INFORSE, 1996)
close this folderEurope
View the documentINforSE - Europe to Lobby EU & Collect Renewable-Energy Case Data
View the documentSuccessful Urban Ecology Conference
View the documentEU Update Electricity Directive Coming
View the documentEuropean Energy Conservation Strategy
View the documentSofia NGO Follow Up

INforSE - Europe to Lobby EU & Collect Renewable-Energy Case Data

At the 1996 annual INforSE - Europe meeting on June 30, anew Action Plan was approved It sets the framework for the next year's activities of INforSE - Europe. Emphasis will be on the following items:

· A campaign to monitor and lobby EU institutions on energy questions. APERE in Belgium and the INforSE-Europe secretariat in Denmark will allocate resources to follow ongoing EU issues, circulated the information among INforSE-Europe members, and publicise INforSE positions on the different issues in question.

· Collection of renewable-energy case data from Central and Eastern Europe will continue the work began in the project for assessing renewable-energy potentials (see SEN no. 13). This new project will first provide an overview of renewable-energy technologies in Slovakia, Hungary, and Western Ukraine. Later, more countries will be included and an international overview will be made.

· A European sustainable energy seminar is planned for the first week of July 1997 in Hungary in
cooperation with other European energy NGO networks. As part of this seminar will be the 1997 INforSE - Europe meeting.

· A new INforSE-Europe email list is being established.

· The INforSE-Europe sustainable energy-company database will be developed further. It is available on diskette.

· INforSE-Europe asked the NGO Bank Watch Network for cooperation on monitoring energy lending from development banks, specifically, concerning Central and Eastern Europe.

· Finally, an important part of the activities of INforSE - Europe is to take part in the worldwide campaigns and other activities of INforSE. A special European information project is planned for the Solar Summit including a follow up meeting

The INforSE-Europe coordinators, Emil Bedi, Slovakia and Gunnar Boye Olesen, Denmark were both re-elected at the meeting

More information: INforSE-Europe. See at the back page.

Successful Urban Ecology Conference

At "The City as an Organism", 170 participants from 26 European countries discussed how to develop sustainable cities with respect to energy, water, traffic, urban planning, social organization, and many other aspects of urban ecology. Most of the participants took part in the 16 workshops, each of which discussed a special topic and produced an exhibit (See photo)

These exhibits are now circulated in the Copenhagen area as a mobile exhibition. Other outcomes of the conference were:

· a statement from the participants, calling for continued cooperation among NGOs on collecting cases for good practices in urban ecology. From the bottom" develop a list of urban ecology groups in Europe, and secure NGO participation in the Sustainable Cities Conference in Lisboa in October.

· a report summarizing the plenary sessions and workshops.

The conference was organized by OVE, The Danish Organization for Renewable y in cooperation with INforSE Europe and local organizations.

Conference report available at: OVE/INforSE-Europe, adsrress at back page.

EU Update Electricity Directive Coming

A common position on the EU directive on electricity markets was reached at the EU Energy Ministers' meeting, June 20, after 4 years of negotiations. With this recent development, a binding directive can be expected within a year. The common position includes most of the previous agreements (see Sustainable Energy News 11 and earlier). One new element is an agreed upon timetable for permitting large consumers to buy on an open electricity market, across the borders:

· starting in 1999, consumers above 40 GWh/year will be granted such access (22% of electricity sales);

· starting in 2000, consumers above 20 GWh/year (27% sales);

· starting in 2003, consumers above 9 GWh/year (33% sales).

The paragraph on public service obligations still includes environmental protection as one of the costs that a state may ask all consumers to pay, including those trading on the free market. According to previous agreements, this can allow countries to give preferential treatment to non-polluting energy sources, but it is a question of national policy. There will be a second hearing in the EU Parliament before the directive takes effect.

INforSE-Europe organisations are now analysing the implications of the directive for renewable energy and efficiency.

Following the agreement on electricity, the lrish presidency of the EU has started negotiations on a gas directive. It is possible that an agreement on a gas directive can be reached quite quickly, building on the agreements of the electricity directive.

No IRP Directive

The proposed directive on integrated resource planning (IRP) in the electricity sector was not approved by the last Energy Ministers' Council. Because of the limited support for the proposal, negotiations will not continue. This means, effectively, that there will not be an IRP directive with binding obligations for the EU countries The EU Commission can now decide to make an IRP recommendation, but it might not find it worth the effort.

With this measure not approved, it will be even harder to reach the CO2 stabilization and reduction goals of EU.

Efficiency Standards for Fridges

Efficiency standards for freezers and fridges have been approved by the EU Parliament in June at the same level as agreed by the Energy Council in December 1995. They decided upon a 15% efficiency increase over the current leveL with voluntary agreements for further improvements. This was better than the 10% increase proposed by the EU Commission but still is very modest compared with the technical potential.

I5% Renewables Called by EP

The European Parliament (EP) now calls for 15% renewable energy in the 12 "old" EU countries. This is much more ambitious than the official EU goal of 8% renewable energy by 2005 for the "old" countries (the "new" EU countries, Austria Finland, and Sweden already have a +35% share of renewable energy). It is important for the renewable/sustainable energy organization to follow up on the implementation of this new goal. This can be a key part of a EU environmental plan that includes stabilization and reductions of CO2 emissions.

Sources: Danish Energy Agency, ECInform Energy (Iyons@,, and others.

European Energy Conservation Strategy

At the European Environmental Ministers' Meeting in Sofia, October 1995, an Environment Program for Europe was approved, including the idea of a European Energy Conservation Strategy.

Preparation of this strategy is now in progress within the UN-ECE [Economic Commission for Europe), with the aim of formulating a proposal before the next Environmental Ministers' Mecting, which is to be held in Denmark in 1998. The first, informal meeting was held on July 4, and the next meeting will be on October 14-15. NGOs have been granted one seat in the meetings.

Developments will be followed by INforSE-Europe as well as by the NGO Coalition "Environment for Europe" which followed the Sofia meeting.

Sofia NGO Follow Up

The follow-up of the Sofia Conference and the preparation of the next Pan European Environmental Minister Conference will also be discussed at the NGO Coalition "Environment for Europe" conference in Brussels on October 25-27, where the NGO preparations will start for the next Environmental Ministers' Conference, which is to be held in June, 1998, in Argus,

Denmark Topics to be discussed at the conference will include NGO priorities and election of a new NGO steering committee for the process.

More Information: EEB, 26, rue de la Victoire, 1060 Brussels, Be/gium. Ph/fax: +32-2-5390037/5390921, email:
Sustainable Cities,Lisboa, October 6-8, 1996

The cities of Europe will set urban environment on the agenda on the 2nd Sustainable Cities Conference. Four networks of cities united in the "European Sustainable Cities and Town Campaign" supporting the conference. NGOs will also be allowed into the conference, as far as space allows, and with a participation fee of approx. 150US$

More lnformation: Camera Municipal de Lisboa, Praca do Municipio, 1194 Lisboa, Portugal Ph/fax:+351-1-3476889/3429505, email: