EU must remain committed to 2030 energy targets

15 Mar 2011

The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) demands the European Union (EU) implement binding renewable energy targets for 2030 to secure a long-term investment in renewable energy.

At the opening of Europe’s largest wind power conference and exhibition in Brussels yesterday, Arthouros Zervos, president of the EWEA, said, “the wind industry expects to invest some 400bn in Europe between now and 2030. He said in order to reach this target, the wind industry requires a stable and strong EU energy policy.

In a new report titled, EU Energy Policy to 2050, EWEA stated the importance of having a strong policy in place after 2020, in order to repeat Europe’s success in the green technology industry, and to continue reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Zervos fears that without these policies, Europe is “facing a policy vacuum after 2020″.

The report urged that the renewable energy targets established in 2001 and 2009 are replicated for the period after 2020 with ambitious 2030 targets. The EREC believes that at least 45pc of the EU’s total energy consumption can be acquired from renewable sources by 2030.

Wind energy alone could meet 28.5pc of Europe’s electricity demand by then, according to EWEA’s scenarios. The Member States’ National Renewable Energy Action Plans expects wind energy to provide 14pc of the EU’s electricity by 2020.

Zervos urged European Commission president José Manuel Barroso and the other EU leaders to provide the renewables sector with a “stable framework in which to grow and provide renewable power, new jobs, manufacturing and construction in Europe by giving us targets for 2030, and within the next four years”.

He warned, “For some, 2020 is far away. For politicians, it is at least two elections away – a political lifetime. But for the electricity industry, it is the day after tomorrow.”

In a message to EWEA 2011, Jerzy Buzek, president of the European Parliament, said, “EU energy policy needs long-term decisions, not just to achieve our 2020 commitments, but also to create certainty for industry on the road to a low-carbon economy and to 80pc cuts in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050”.