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EU Ministers meet to discuss sustainable energy options

Sun 17th Jan 2010

Almost one month after the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, EU ministers are meeting in Seville to discuss the future of energy in Europe.

An informal meeting will focus on the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan and the European Energy Action Plan for the period 2010-2014, which will cover environmental sustainability aswell as the security of European energy supplies.

The meeting today coincides with another informal meeting of the European Ministers of Energy and Environment, held over the weekend - also in Seville.

Antonio Hernandez Garcia, director general for Energy Policy and Mines at the Spanish Ministry of Industry, said: 'Energy policy cannot be conceived without sustainability.'

Garcia mentioned how Spain will work to diversify European energy sources and develop infrastructure connecting countries during the term of its European Union presidency. Achieving this may help avoid conflicts similar to those over gas, which have occurred recntly between Russia and the Ukraine.

Alternative energies analyzed by the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan include: solar, thermal-solar and photovoltaic and wind power on both land and sea.

Rainer Hinrichs-Rahlwes, vice president of the European Renewable Energies Federation, said that in spite of the Copenhagen conference results, ministers would do well to work on an agreement increasing the planned cut in European emissions from 20 to 30 percent from 1990 levels by 2020.

"It would certainly be sensible to reach an agreement within the European Union very early on", he said. "'It must be made clear that we need to continue with higher goals than planned. These goals can be reached with renewable energy sources."

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