* Informal talks to discuss roadmap beyond 2020 goals
* Poland says unreasonable to discount coal
* Britain, France seek "technology neutral" approach
By Barbara Lewis
BRUSSELS, April 13 Renewable energy does not
have more right to an EU target than other fuels, according to
pro-nuclear states and coal-intensive Poland, as debate heats up
over updating a 2020 goal to have a 20 percent share of green
fuel in the energy mix.
The comments from Britain and France, as well as Poland,
have been made as part of consultations on the Energy 2050
Roadmap. It lays out routes towards a low carbon economy after
the European Union's firm set of policy goals expires in 2020.
Progress on taking green energy policy further has been
fraught and Poland in March vetoed an attempt then to agree
non-binding milestones for future carbon reductions.
Apart from the 20 percent renewable goal, the EU also has
objectives to cut carbon emissions by 20 percent and to improve
energy savings to 20 percent, all by 2020.
Informal ministerial talks hosted by the Danish EU
presidency in Denmark next week will again tackle the topic of
getting beyond 2020 ahead of a more formal meeting in June.
"The task of developing a post 2020 European energy strategy
is urgent," a background paper from the Danish presidency seen
by Reuters said. "Investors are already considering 2030
NEED FOR INTERIM GOALS
Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said in December
interim targets needed to be agreed by 2014, the end of the
current Commission, and by 2030, it should be possible for 30
percent of the energy mix to come from renewables.
Poland, France and Britain have all raised questions over
setting targets for renewable power, such as solar and wind, as
opposed to other energy forms.
The British government in a position paper said "any targets
set should be neutral with respect to different low carbon
A French note also states the need "to make use of all
low-carbon technology: renewable energy, nuclear power and
carbon capture and storage."
Poland is heavily reliant on carbon-intensive coal, although
it is also seeking to build nuclear plants to help improve its
security of supply.
"The communication clearly focuses on renewable energy
sources, disregarding coal, which is unreasonable given the
expected growth in the use of this fuel around the world," its
While coal is a carbon-intensive form of electricity
generation, nuclear power generates power without emitting CO2.
Environmental groups, however, say the overall nuclear
process is far from carbon-neutral.
They also say the huge vested interest of the nuclear
industry - which supplies around 80 percent of electricity in
France - is fighting hard against potential competition from
other energy sources after the safety concerns raised by Japan's
nuclear catastrophe last year.
Germany in response said it was phasing out the energy
"The spectacular growth of renewables in recent years means
that every European could soon benefit from clean and affordable
energy," Greenpeace EU energy policy director Frauke Thies said.
"The nuclear industry knows this and is fighting to keep
A Commission spokeswoman said the Commission did not comment
on leaked documents.
The roadmap did not prioritise a specific energy source, but
said renewables would "move centre stage," she added.
(Additional reporting by Ilona Wissenbach in Brussels, Michael
Kahn in Prague and Gabriela Baczynska in Warsaw; editing by