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Renewable energy

Lack of vision for EU strategy risks scuppering renewables success story

The European Commission today presented a communication looking at the EU-wide situation on renewable energy and setting out proposals for how to promote renewables beyond 2020. The Greens expressed regret at the lack of ambition or concrete proposals in the communication, with Green MEP Claude Turmes - who was the European Parliament's draftsperson/rapporteur for EU legislation implementing the EU's binding 20% renewables target for 2020 - stating:

“The Commission's renewable energy plans are characterised by a lack of vision. They fail to address the current challenges faced by Europe's renewable energy sector and fail to provide much-needed certainty on the medium and long term strategy to ensure the sector can continue to thrive and provide lasting jobs.

"The failure to present a clear framework for promoting renewable energy beyond 2020, notably by proposing an ambitious 2030 target, risks scuppering the EU's renewables success story. A number of scenarios show that renewables could contribute up to 45% of the EU energy mix by 2030, on the path towards a 100% renewable energy based economy, and this is the type of ambition the Commission should be aiming for with a binding 2030 target. This would reassure investors and provide much-needed market certainty, notably at a time when some actors - like the UK government - are casting doubt over targets.

"The Commission has missed the opportunity to frame the EU's renewable energy strategy in the context of a proper industrial policy dimension. This would mean setting out a strategic approach to ensuring Europe's industry can compete with emerging challengers and which ensures reciprocity of access to markets, particularly in Asia. It would also mean setting out clear proposals about how to deal with current problems regarding access to capital for renewables projects in many EU member states. This is urgently needed to avoid running to standstill."

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