Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Successor programme


Programme funding

EUR 40 million

Official Journal Reference

L235 of 1993-09-18

Legislative Reference

93/500/(CEE) of 1993-09-13
To reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the Community by promoting the development of renewable energy sources.


Under Article 130r of the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community action by the Community relating to the environment should improve the quality of the environment and ensure a prudent and rational utilization of natural resources, objectives which are furthered by the use of renewable energy sources. On 9 June 1988 the Council adopted a recommendation confirming in detail its desire to pursue a policy of developing the exploitation of renewable energy sources in the Community (Official Journal No L 160 of 9 June 1988). When reviewing the progress made towards achieving the energy objectives for 1995, the Council stated in its conclusions of 8 November 1988 that it attributes particular importance to new and renewable energy sources for future energy supplies. On 29 October 1990 the Council set the objective of stabilizing carbon dioxide emissions in the year 2000 at their 1990 levels. This objective cannot be achieved without a significant increase in the contribution of renewable energy sources towards the energy balance. Within the context of the ALTENER programme the Community will support a series of actions to promote renewable energy sources.


Four categories of actions:

- Studies and technical evaluations for defining technical standards or specifications;

- Measures to support the Member States' initiatives for extending or creating infrastructures concerned with renewable energy sources:
. Training and information activities with regard to renewable energy sources at a level as close as possible to operators and the final consumers of energy;
. Sectoral actions;

- Measures to foster the creation of an information network aimed at promoting better coordination between national, Community and international activities through the establishment of appropriate means for exchanging information, and at evaluating the impact of the various actions;

- Studies, evaluations and other appropriate measures aimed at assessing the technical feasibility and the advantages for the economy and the environment of the industrial exploitation of biomass for energy purposes, in particular heat and electricity production.


The Commission is responsible for the implementation of the programme assisted by an advisory committee composed of the representatives of the Member States and chaired by the representative of the Commission. The Commission will establish guidelines for support measures in consultation with the committee.

The proposed initiatives for extending or creating infrastructures concerned with renewable energy sources and the list of national, regional or local bodies which are to implement these projects will be submitted annually by the Member States to the Commission, which will decide on the level and conditions of Community funding. The Commission will sign contracts relating to these support measures with those bodies.

All costs relating to studies and technical evaluation for defining technical standards or specifications will be borne by the Community. The level of Community funding for infrastructure initiatives and measures to create an information network will be between 30 and 50% of their total cost. In exceptional cases the funding may exceed the 50% limit but not exceed 60%. The balance of funding for industrial pilot actions relating to energy from biomass may be made up from either public or private sources or from a contribution of the two.

During the third year of the programme, the Commission will present a report to the European Parliament and to the Council on the basis of results achieved. The report will be accompanied by proposals for any amendments which may be necessary in the light of these results. On the expiry of the programme , the Commission will assess the results obtained, the application of the programme and the coherence of national and Community actions. It will then present a report to the European Parliament, to the Council and to the Economic and Social Committee.
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