Decision on energy mix should be left to each EU state - Sobotka


13.03.2014 18:07

Berlin - Decisions about what sources countries will use for electricity production should remain in the competence of individual EU states, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka told journalists after a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin today.


Německá kancléřka Angela Merkelová a český premiér Bohuslav Sobotka na tiskové konferenci po berlínském jednání. ČTK/AP Markus Schreiber

These decisions should not be transferred to the European Union's level, Sobotka said.

"I emphasised our requirement that the individual countries are allowed to decide freely how they will be raising the share of renewable sources," Sobotka said.

The decision about from what sources electricity will be produced in a country also affects the state budget and the price of electricity, which means that it should be made by the national government, he remarked.

Sobotka said he discussed cooperation in the energy industry with Merkel, but added this does not mean that the Czech Republic will, like Germany, shut down its nuclear power plants and develop renewable sources on a massive scale.

"We agreed on intensive consultations about the energy industry and energy security, for example, today, but it does not follow that we also agreed that the Czech Republic would copy the energy mix which Germany has chosen," Sobotka said.

He also noted that the Czech Republic would during talks held in the European Union defend its interest to maintain competitive industry.

The European Commission's plans to increase the share of renewable energy sources on electricity production are too ambitious from the Czech Republic's point of view and could lead to a further growth in electricity prices, Sobotka said.

The EC's target is that renewable energy sources make up an average 27 percent of electricity production in the EU by 2030. In the Czech Republic, renewable sources now produce about 13 percent of electricity.

Czech Industry and Trade Minister Jan Mladek, who accompanied Sobotka on his visit to Germany, has said the Czech Republic would welcome a commitment to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions instead of the commitment to further develop renewable sources.

"We want reduction of greenhouse gases to be the primary and only goal," Mladek said.

The Czech Republic would prefer a 35 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, or, under certain circumstances, a reduction of 40 percent, Mladek said.

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