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EU sets deadlines on energy issues

Feb. 5, 2011 at 8:46 AM

BRUSSELS, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- European Union leaders agreed to meet new deadlines to set up an energy market, share information on energy contracts and develop new energy infrastructure.

"The internal market should be completed by 2014 so as to allow gas and electricity to flow freely," the document says.

The plan includes an agreement to "accelerate work" on charging stations for electric vehicles and says rules should be established for energy contracts signed with Russia, the largest supplier of natural gas to Europe, the EUobserver reported Saturday.

Leaders postponed working on the issue of how to pay for infrastructure projects, such as pipelines, that were deemed important for security reasons but did not have sufficient commercial backing to meet expenses.

The EU has already agreed to increase energy efficiency by 20 percent by 2020 in a variety of areas, including factories, transportation and buildings. The plan agreed to Friday reinforces that target.

"As of Jan. 1, 2012, all member states should include energy efficiency standards taking into account of the EU headline target in public procurement for relevant public buildings and services," the agreement says.

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