Energy companies call for binding EU 2030 renewables target
05 Jun 2012
The Coalition of progressive European energy companies (SSE, Eneco, DONG Energy, EWE, Acciona, Sorgenia, PPC, EDP Renewables and Stadtwerke München) calls for a binding EU 2030 renewables target, to be included in the European Commission’s ‘Renewable Energy Strategy post 2020’, which is expected to be published tomorrow (6 June).
Alongside strengthening the EU ETS, a binding 2030 renewables target is needed to bridge the policy gap between 2020 and 2050 and to allow the renewables industry to mature and to reach cost competitiveness. In the absence of a binding 2030 target, renewable growth is put at great risk, which will undermine the decarbonisation scenarios of the EU Energy Roadmap 2050, as well as the overarching EU 2050 carbon reduction target of 80-95%.
The Coalition hopes the European Commission’s ‘Renewable Energy Strategy post 2020’ will explicitly recognize that the current policies do not provide a sufficient long-term perspective for manufacturers and investors. Therefore the Renewable Energy Roadmap for the post-2020 period, as foreseen in the Renewables Directive, should be brought forward from 2018 to 2014. Furthermore, it should be recognised that the binding 2020 renewables target has worked – in the absence of a robust carbon price – to create new European industries, growth and jobs, whilst diversifying energy supply and reducing European energy import dependency.
Now the time has come to focus on the 2030 policy framework, of which a binding renewables target must be the cornerstone. The Coalition believes that the reasons for supporting a binding target is still valid as we consider the market does not value all the renewables’ benefits beyond carbon abatement, namely regarding security of supply, diversification of the generation mix and job creation. The 2020’s will be a vital decade for maturing European renewable industries, bringing down the cost of energy, driven by markets rather than support schemes. However, in the absence of a clear 2030 investor perspective, the successful development of European renewables industries and the EU decarbonisation agenda is put at risk and exposed to industrial stagnation at a vital point in time.
Furthermore, the Coalition believes that the EU ETS is an important policy instrument for encouraging the deployment of renewables post 2020. But history has proven that a stand-alone ETS price signal is highly insecure and insufficient to drive renewables expansion. Therefore, the Coalition firmly believes that a mandatory 2030 renewables target, set sufficiently in advance, is necessary to help bridge the policy gap between 2020 and 2050, by providing a clear trajectory and direction of travel for investment decisions. This would allow companies to continue to invest in long term and sustainable supply chains, as well as to continue to work to bring down costs.