EU ENERGY SAVINGS LAW HIT BY AVALANCHE OF AMENDMENTS
In the face of blizzards that have pushed the power grid to its limit and a cold snap that has killed 400, Denmark has made progress on the EU's Energy Efficiency Directive a priority during its presidency. While Denmark argues efficiency would bring jobs and help reduce reliance on imported fuel, the EU is on track to meet only half of its non-binding target to increase efficiency by 20 percent by 2020. Draft energy efficiency legislation, as proposed by the Commission, would impose binding measures, rather than binding targets, on EU governments. That means countries would have to submit national goals and if they did not achieve them by 2014, the Commission would consider imposing mandatory EU targets. But even relatively soft targets are controversial. "A one-size-fits-all approach would not be appropriate," said Holger Krahmer, a German Liberal member of the European Parliament. "Countries like Germany, where industries are already very efficient, have not so much potential to reduce as other countries with low efficiency." Together with a group of Conservative politicians, he has put forward an amendment that calls for the 20 percent energy savings goal to be reached either through a cut in primary energy use of 368 million tonnes of oil equivalent or by a cut in EU energy intensity. For the full story, see http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/09/us-eu-efficiency-idUSTRE8180MI20120209.