Ireland still needs to adapt its energy legislation in order
to be fully in line with EU rules, or it will be taken to
court to force its hand, according to the EU Commission.
Because Ireland failed to fulfil these obligations, the European
Commission has decided to proceed with the next step in two
infringement cases. The third and final step - if Ireland
continues to be in breach of the rules - would see the Commission
take Ireland to the European Court of Justice.
stated that opening energy markets for competition
is key to the competitiveness of the EU economy as a whole.
An efficient, interconnected and transparent European internal
energy market will also offer consumers a choice between different
companies supplying gas and electricity and will make the
market accessible to all suppliers.
The Electricity and Gas Directives of the third internal
energy market package had to be transposed by the Member States
by 3 March 2011. To-date, Ireland has not informed the Commission
of all the necessary measures for fully transposing the directives
into national law.
Consequently, the Commission has sent a reasoned opinion
to Ireland to urge the country to comply with its legal obligation.
Ireland now has two months to respond. If it fails to comply
the Commission may refer it to the Court of Justice of the
In addition, Ireland has still not complied with the Renewable
Energy Directive, which had to be transposed by Member
States by 5 December 2010.
According to the Commission - 'The timely transposition of
this Directive is a priority for the Commission, especially
since unnecessary delays in implementing it may jeopardise
the achievement of the EU renewable energy objective.
'However, Ireland has not informed the Commission of all
the measures necessary to fully transpose the Directive into
its national legislation. Therefore, the Commission has today
decided to send a reasoned opinion to Ireland. If the country
does not comply with its legal obligation within two months,
the Commission may decide to refer it to the Court of Justice.'
According to the Directive, each Member State has to reach
individual targets contributing to the overall 20pc share
of renewable energy in energy consumption. To reach these
targets, Member States have to lay down rules - for example,
for improving the grid access for electricity from renewable
energy sources, the administrative and planning procedures,
information and training of installers, etc.
In addition, where biofuels are used to achieve the transport
target, these must meet a set of sustainability requirements,
which also need to be included in national legislation.