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Energy: EC Countries

Energy and Climate Change written question – answered on 13th June 2011.

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Photo of Barry Gardiner Barry Gardiner Labour, Brent North

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent discussions he has had with the European Commission on the level of financial support for expansion of the Trans-European Energy Network.

Photo of Charles Hendry Charles Hendry The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change

I have discussed the new EU legislation on energy infrastructure, expected this autumn, with the Commission on a number of occasions.

The Trans-European Energy Network programme (TEN-E), which the new legislation will replace, has a small budget and provides modest early-stage funding to those electricity and gas projects which are considered important for EU energy security and market integration. The Government's view is that infrastructure investment should be primarily financed by the private sector and driven by commercial considerations. However, we acknowledge that there could be instances where market failures might justify the award of limited public funding for priority projects. It will, however, be important to ensure that criteria are agreed governing the award of any such funding so that it is properly targeted and does not displace commercial financing.

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