23 January 2020
Eurostat have just published data on the share of renewables in Europe’s 2018 energy mix. And it is not good.
Renewables made up only 18% of EU energy in 2018. This is a clear sign that Europe is unlikely to make the 20% target for 2020.
Europe cannot afford to miss its 2020 or any other target in the coming years now that it has committed to becoming climate-neutral by 2050 with the European Green Deal. The European Commission sees renewables and wind energy in particular as a driver to deliver on that ambition. Wind is already 14% of Europe’s electricity, it will be 50% in the power mix by 2050 in Commission estimations. And the International Energy Agency expects wind to become our number one source of power generation by 2027.
Delivering on the Green Deal means mainstreaming renewables-based electrification in the heating and transport sectors. Firm national commitments to wind energy build-out over the next decade. Easing permitting for new and repowered wind farms. Europe also needs a clear industrial policy for wind energy. This is a no-brainer. A sensible industrial strategy for wind energy would:
- Recognise wind energy as a Strategic Supply Chain for the delivery of climate neutrality by 2050;
- Revitalise the EU’s domestic wind energy market through robust and timely implementation of the EU’s Clean Energy Package;
- Drive investments in infrastructure that are Paris Agreement-compatible and support Europe’s wind energy industrial hub e.g. electricity grids, storage, electric vehicle charging, roads and ports;
- Align the EU’s trade policies with climate & energy, industry and competition objectives; and
- Both continue and increase EU Research & Innovation funding to support wind energy technologies that will deliver the energy transition.
WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson says: “The Eurostat renewables data is very disappointing and is a stark wake-up call for policymakers. If we can’t meet the modest 2020 targets, then something needs to drastically change to deliver the far more ambitious Green Deal targets. As first steps, Europe needs to get serious about renewables-based electrification across the economy. And this also entails a firmer commitment by national governments to sort out permitting obstacles and to ease the building out of wind energy capacities. And the European Commission should now come forth with a robust industrial policy that puts renewable energy at the core of the Green Deal. If the EU gets its policies in order, wind energy can deliver on Europe’s climate goals cost-effectively and secure a job-rich energy transition.”
More on the Green Deal