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ENG-ALTENER 1

Official Journal Reference

L159 of 1998-06-03

Legislative Reference

98/352/EC of 1998-05-18
To help create the necessary conditions for the implementation of a Community action plan for renewable energy sources and, in particular, the legal, socio-economic and administrative conditions; to encourage private and public investments in the production and use of energy from renewable sources.

Abstract

The purpose of this proposal is to continue and strengthen the measures implemented under the first phase of the Altener programme which will expire in December 1997. Altener was established in 1993 to promote the penetration and use of renewable energy sources (RES) in the Community (Council Decision 93/500/EEC, OJ No L 235, 18.9.1993).

Scheduled to run between 1998-2002, Altener II will contribute to the Community's policy objectives and commitments in those areas where RES can play a decisive role, namely: limiting CO2 emissions; increasing the share of RES in the energy balance; reducing the dependency on energy imports; security of energy supply; and economic development, economic and social cohesion, and regional and local development.

More specifically, the programme has the following twin objectives:

- To help create the necessary conditions for the implementation of a Community action plan for renewable energy sources and, in particular, the legal, socio-economic and administrative conditions;

- To encourage private and public investments in the production and use of energy from renewable sources.

These objectives are to be realized by the strengthening and extending the successful elements of Altener I and by the introduction of new measures focused on promoting the penetration of RES, and the implementation, follow-up and monitoring of the Community RES strategy. Details of all the activities to be implemented are set out in the "Subdivisions" section of this summary.

The actions to be conducted under Altener II will complement those being implemented under other relevant Community programmes, in particular the non-nuclear energy programme under the Community's RTD Framework Programmes. However, Altener focuses on promoting the penetration and use of RES and does not finance research or demonstration activities.

Subdivision

- Implementing and complementing Community measures taken to develop the potential of RES:
. Studies on sectoral and market strategies;
. Background for harmonization;
. Development of norms and standards;

- Infrastructures and instruments for the development of RES:
. Local and regional planning;
. Projects developing tools for planning, design, assessment and evaluation;
. Projects on new financial and market instruments;
. Development of infrastructures on information and on education and training programmes;

- Dissemination of information:
. Community events and publications;
. Temporary networks for specific tasks on biomass, waste, liquid, biofuels, solar thermal, solar PV, buildings, etc.;
. Centralized system for collecting and circulating information;

- Measures to encourage exchange of experience and know-how:
. Support to national, regional and local information actions in collaboration with Member States, local authorities, including the European Economic Area and other European third countries;
. Support to existing networks, associations and other actors;

- Targeted actions promoting the penetration of RES and encouraging investment in the following areas:
. Biomass, including energy crops, fire wood, residues from forestry and agriculture, municipal waste, liquid biofuels and biogas;
. Thermal and photovoltaic solar systems in buildings;
. Passive and active solar systems in buildings;
. Small scale hydroelectric projects;
. Wind power;
. Geothermal energy;

- Implementation of a new Community strategy and action plan for the development of RES, covering actions aimed at:
. Monitoring the implementation of the Community strategy and action plan for the development of renewable energy sources;
. Supporting initiatives taken to implement the action plan, particularly with a view to promoting greater synergy between actions;
. Monitoring the progress achieved by the Community and its Member States with regard to the development of renewable energy sources;
. Evaluate measures taken implemented under the programme.

Implementation

The Commission is responsible for implementing the programme, assisted by an advisory committee composed of representatives of the Member States and chaired by a representative of the Commission.

The level of Community financing differs depending on the type of measure involved.

For the following actions, Community financing covering 100% of the costs is available:

- Implementing and complementing Community measures taken to develop the potential of RES:
- Dissemination of information;
- Implementation of a new Community strategy and action plan for the development of RES.

Community financing covering up to 50% of the costs (the remainder to be met by other public and/or private sources) for the following measures:

- Pilot actions aimed at creating or extending infrastructures and instruments for the development of RES;
- Measures to encourage exchange of experience and know-how proposed by an entity other than the Commission.
The level of financing for the "Targeted actions promoting the penetration of RES and encouraging investment" will be established on an annual basis for the each of the targeted actions.

Details on these targeted actions, and all the other measures to be implemented under the programme, are set out in the "Subdivisions" section of this summary.

In the context of the programme, renewable energy sources refer to:

- Biomass, including energy crops, fire wood, residues from forestry and agriculture, municipal waste, liquid biofuels and biogas;
- Large and small scale (<10MW) hydropower;
- Wind energy;
- Solar thermal and solar photovoltaics;
- Geothermal energy;
- Tidal, wave and other ocean energies.

Participation in the programme is open to associated Central and Eastern European Countries and Cyprus, in accordance with the conditions set out in their association agreements.

The Commission is required to draw-up a report on the measures taken to promote renewable energies two years into the programme. This should include, if necessary, proposals for amendments arising from the assessment. Following the completion of the programme, the Commission will assess the results obtained and the consistency of national and Community measures. A report on this assessment will be submitted to the Council, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions.
Record Number: 630 / Last updated on: 2014-03-05