18 November 2015
Energy Union address shows Commission ready to step in on EU renewables target
The European Commission must take the necessary measures to ensure that EU member states meet the “at least” 27% renewable energy target by 2030.
Today, the Vice President for Energy Union Maros Sefcovic delivered his “State of the Energy Union” address, outlining Europe’s progress on its climate and energy goals. The communication said the Commission will if necessary introduce measures and policies to complement actions by Member States to reach the EU-wide renewables target by 2030.
Giles Dickson, Chief Executive Officer of the European Wind Energy Association, said: “Today’s Energy Union address is a statement of intent. For the first time the Commission brings clarity on how it intends to administer the binding renewable energy target by saying it’s ready to apply the rules if Member States do not step up to the plate on renewables.”
The Commission must now define the circumstances under which it would intervene and how such measures would be enshrined in the new Renewable Energy Directive.
He added: “It is imperative that the Commission takes a strong stance to guarantee that EU countries meet the collective commitment on deploying renewable technologies such as wind energy. Over the next 15 years, all Member States must do their fair share if the EU is to maintain its global leadership in renewables.”
Today, renewable energy contributes EUR130 billion a year to the European economy and EUR35 billion of export revenues. Europe’s wind turbine manufacturers have a 40% share of the global wind markets outside the EU.
Dickson said: “A strong and vibrant home market is essential for European manufacturers to maintain their cost competitiveness in the rapidly growing wind markets of India, China, Brazil and elsewhere. If policymakers fail to deliver, it will be to the detriment of investments, jobs and economic growth in Europe.”
Meeting the renewables target for 2030
EWEA is calling on Member States to set individual renewable energy commitments by no later than December 2017. In the event that national contributions do not meet the overall 27% target, the Commission should broker cooperation between neighbouring Member States, particularly with those that have failed to make sufficient pledges.
If Member States fail to make up the shortfall, the EU executive must put in place a programme as of January 2020 and require that countries with low contributions pledge to an EU-wide fund for the development of renewable energies.
Under a 2030 governance system, EWEA is calling for the Commission to make official policy recommendations on national renewable energy action plans every two years. The EU executive must also have the authority to intervene when Member States make counter-productive changes to domestic renewable energy policies.
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