The EU Commission has initiated or advanced several EU infringement proceedings in the field of climate and energy. Austria threatens to go to court with the second warning letter in the matter of energy efficiency and radioactive waste. No less explosive against the background of the energy crisis: a first warning letter has been received for the security of the power supply. Austria now has two months to provide the European Commission with a satisfactory answer.
According to the EU authority, Austria has not submitted a risk prevention plan in the electricity sector with measures to prevent and combat power supply crises. The corresponding regulation provides for the “preparation for electricity supply crises, their prevention and management in a spirit of solidarity and transparency between Member States while ensuring a competitive internal electricity market”.
Austria must implement EU law
Specifically, energy efficiency concerns two areas: Firstly, the Brussels authorities are calling on Austria, among others, to implement amendments to the Directive on the energy efficiency of buildings in national law. For example, it lays down minimum requirements for new construction for electromobility.
Secondly, Austria is late in transposing the revised Energy Efficiency Directive into national law. This includes a binding energy efficiency target of at least 32.65% by 2030.
Second warning about nuclear waste
A second warning letter has also been sent to Austria over the handling of radioactive waste. According to the EU commission, member states are obliged to prepare and implement “national programs for the management of all spent fuel elements and radioactive waste”. However, the Austrian program does not comply with the relevant directive.
In order to avoid risks in the electricity sector, the European Commission has asked Austria to submit a plan to Brussels in accordance with the relevant EU regulation. The objectives are “to anticipate, prevent and address electricity supply crises in a spirit of solidarity and transparency between Member States, while ensuring a competitive internal electricity market”. Austria also has two months to do this, otherwise the EU authority can continue the procedure.