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Energy subsidies

EU Commission subsidies challenges myth of over-subsidised renewable energy

The European Commission today presented research on subsidies for various energy sources. Commenting on the study, Greens/EFA co-president Rebecca Harms said:

"The EU Commission itself has acknowledged that this research provides an initial snapshot, rather than the full picture. On nuclear power, the picture is certainly not complete and the research does not take proper account of the costs for decommissioning reactors and nuclear waste, which are usually borne by the state. In Germany, the nuclear industry is pushing for a state-funded solution for nuclear waste. Meanwhile, the massive state aid required for the construction of a new nuclear reactor in Hinkley in the UK underlines that nuclear power is heavily subsidy-dependent.

"It is nonsense to crib about support for the renewable energy sector, whilst at the same time approving new subsidies for nuclear power. Unforeseeable consequences and the inevitable increased cost of coal - due to pollution and climate change - are clear reasons to switch to renewable energy."

Green energy spokesperson Claude Turmes added:

"The Commission's interim report puts figures on the table which challenge the myth that renewable energy receives disproportionately high subsidies. Even though the research demonstrates reduced costs for nuclear and coal over recent years, these sectors continue to benefit from at least as much, if not more, subsidies than renewable energy.

"The study also confirmed that the external or indirect costs of fossil fuels are extremely high compared to solar- and wind power. However external cost calculations for nuclear power are incomplete and the transport sector has not been included at all. It will be a task for the next climate and energy commissioner to complete the interim report with the missing figures."