Polish Briefing 14 December, 2017 9:00 am   
COMMENTS: Mateusz Gibała

Polish Briefing: USA criticizes Germany’s support of Nord Stream 2

What goes on in Poland on the 14th of December.

USA criticizes Germany’s support of Nord Stream 2

Top state department official praises Denmark for passing law that could hamper pipeline project.

The top State Department official overseeing Europe offered harsh words Tuesday for Germany over the country’s continued support for a new Russian gas pipeline to Europe, while praising Denmark for passing a law that could hamper the project.

A. Wess Mitchell, assistant secretary of State for European and Eurasian affairs, said the formation of a new government in Germany offers an opportunity for the U.S. to make a renewed case against the Russian pipeline, known as Nord Stream 2, which Washington says will give Moscow more leverage over Europe’s energy supply.
He said the new government gives the U.S. a chance to call on Germany “to show responsibility in a European context.”

“On energy security, Germany gets it wrong,” Mr. Mitchell said in testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, referring to the country’s support for the Russian gas pipeline. “And it gets it wrong in a way that hurts other EU member states.”

The European Commission will support Polish renewable energy program

The European Commission approved under EU State aid rules a Polish renewable energy scheme and a reduced levy to finance the scheme for energy-intensive users. This will further EU energy and climate goals and ensure the global competitiveness of energy-intensive users whilst preserving competition.

Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “We want to make progress towards green energy for the sake of our environment but also for European economic growth. The Polish support scheme will increase the share of green energy in Poland’s energy mix and help the country’s energy transition. It will also preserve the global competitiveness of companies that are heavily energy dependent.”

The scheme, with a total budget of PLN 40 billion (around €9.4 billion), will grant State support to producers of electricity from renewable sources. Beneficiaries will be selected by means of competitive auctions. The first two rounds took place in December 2016 and June 2017 and additional auctions will be organised until 30 June 2021.