20% by 2020: A EURELECTRIC Renewables Action Plan

» By | Published 26 Oct 2011

By Susanne Nies, EURELECTRIC

Renewables will play an increasingly important role in the electricity mix, with their share more than doubling over the next ten years. Indeed, the EU’s goal of reaching 20% renewable energy by 2020 implies that almost 35% of electricity will need to be generated from renewable energy sources (RES).

The take-off of RES is a key investment opportunity. But it also poses unique challenges: variable renewables will have a profound, transformative effect on the electricity system as a whole.

For the past 18 months, EURELECTRIC – representing the European electricity industry – has therefore been working towards a comprehensive, industry-wide strategy on renewables development across Europe: the EURELECTRIC Renewables Action Plan (RESAP). Through a series of reports RESAP has looked at the entire electricity value chain – from back-up generation and grid development to market integration.

RESAP highlights the electricity industry’s commitment to adopting renewables. Our industry has become a key driver in RES development over the past decade. EURELECTRIC members are not only investing in the most mature RES technologies such as onshore wind. They are also leading investors in major offshore wind projects, including Greater Gabbard, London Array and Dogger Bank.

RESAP sets out three main principles of how to make renewables work. First, we need a consistent European approach to policies and markets to ensure that investments in and integration of renewables are as effective as possible. Second, we need a system approach to managing variability. Renewables should not be considered in isolation from other parts of the power system such as flexible and back-up capacity, smart grids and solid infrastructure on both transmission and distribution level. Third, sectors such as transport or heating and cooling will require increased electrification to pave the way for greater sustainability.

The main findings of RESAP will be presented at a final conference on 10 November, where key issues of the final synopsis report will also be discussed.

To register for the conference, please visit this page

For more information on RESAP, please visit: www.eurelectric.org/RESAP