The screening meeting with the European Union on Chapter 15 – energy – was concluded in Brussels on 20 June. At the meeting, experts from Iceland and the EU compared the legislation falling under the Chapter, which has partially been adapted into Icelandic law in accordance with the EEA-Agreement. The Icelandic team was headed by Ms. Bryndís Kjartansdóttir, chairperson of the EEA I negotiation team.
EU law in the field of energy deals with matters of competition and state aid relating to mining, the inner energy market (freedom of trading with electricity and gas), increased usage of renewable energy, improved energy efficiency, emergency management and obligations with regard to emergency oil stacks, nuclear energy, nuclear safety and radiation defenses.
Based on the EEA Agreement, Iceland has negotiated on four derogations in the field of energy and the negotaiation team supports that these derogations should be kept if Iceland becomes a member of EU. These derogations deal with the energy efficiency of buildings and rules on the inner market for electricity. At the screening meeting Iceland‘s representatives also brought the attention to Iceland‘s unique position with regard to energy, which calls for special measures for Iceland in applying some of the EU acts. This uniqueness can for instance be seen in the high ratio of renewable energy usage, which is much higher than in the EU member states. The combination of electricity usage and the level of power-intensive industry is also different from EU member states. The European Union‘s demand for a minimum stack of oil was also dealt with, and attention brought to the fact that nuclear energy is not an energy source in Iclenad. Also, a ban on the permanent assignment of public entities‘ water- and geothermal rights was outlined and the team emphasised that such a ban will be maintained. The understanding that EU accession will not in any way effect ownership and usage of energy resources was underlined.