Commissioner voices his support to renewable energy producers

19.02.2013, 12:00

European energy commissioner Günther Oettinger says that the Estonian government should honor its obligations to renewable energy producers and abolish the restrictions it has recently set on renewable energy subsidies, writes Eesti Päevaleht.

In a letter sent to the Eesti Taastuvenergeetika Koda, the lobby group for renewable energy producers, Oettinger said that the government must honor its earlier promises made to producers.

Oettinger said that the Commission’s view was that a stable investment environment was a key precondition for attracting more investments and for achieving the objective of producing 20% of energy from renewable sources by 2020.

„It is in this framework that we consider it important that the government honors the obligations it has assumed, for protecting such principles,” he wrote.

Rene Tammist, head of the lobby group, said that in November the association sent Oettinger a letter where it asked for his opinion about the Estonian government’s plan to cut renewable energy subsidies retroactively.

According to the lobby group, existing renewable energy producers are likely to lose between EUR 40m to 43m as a result of the government’s decision.

Commenting the latter, a representative of the Ministry of Economic Affairs said that Minister Juhan Parts met with Oettinger at the end of last year, but the issue was not discussed.

At the end of January, the parliamentary economic committee decided to reduce subsidies to wind energy to 93 euros per MWh and to restore the 600 GWh limit to the total subsidy although the government and renewable energy producers had agreed earlier to abolish it.