§ Mr. Sackville
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement about the meeting of the European Communities Council of Energy Ministers on 9 June.
§ Mr. Peter Morrison
The Council was unable to agree conclusions on the three major items on the agenda. Those were the Commission's paper of obstacles to the completion of the internal market in energy, the Commission's review of progress made by member states against the 1995 energy objectives, and a draft recommendation on co-operation between public electricity supply companies and auto-producers using new and renewable and certain other sources of electricity. Objections were made to a reference in the first case to consumer choice, in the second to an opening up of the electricity market and in the third to the possibility of common carriage. The two latter items were remitted to permanent representatives for further work; on the first of these items the presidency, on its own responsibility, adopted conclusions which did not fully reflect the majority viewpoint.
The Council did however adopt a recommendation on measures to encourage the exploitation of renewable energy sources in the Community. A common position on this recommendation had been agreed last November; it has since been considered by the European Parliament.
The Council also agreed conclusions on a report by the Commission on implementation by member states of two 1983 recommendations encouraging the use of solid fuels in industry, public buildings and district heating schemes. The Commission will prepare a further report on the possibilities for increasing the use of these fuels.