Ninety percent of Europeans say their governments must set targets to increase the amount of renewables in the energy mix by 2030, according to a survey by Eurobarometer – the European Commission’s polling service.
In a special report gauging public opinion on climate change, the European Commission [EC] found that nine in ten Europeans are backing an increase in renewable energy targets.
While the poll did not ask whether a rise in the targets must also be legally binding at national level, it indicates that European citizens are in favour of pushing ahead on renewable technologies.
It comes at a time when policymakers in Brussels attempt to thrash out a new climate and energy package for 2030. In January, the European Commission proposed a flaccid RES target of 27%, a mere 7 percentage point hike on the current 2020 target, and not enforceable on each member state.
EWEA is calling for a binding target of no less than 30%, which would encourage investment and create 568,000 more jobs in Europe.
Fossil fuel imports
Eurobarometer’s poll also showed that 70% of Europeans believe that reducing fossil fuel imports would spur economic growth among the EU’s 28 member states at a time when many nations, particularly in southern Europe, are implementing harsh austerity measures.
EWEA Chief Executive Officer Thomas Becker said on 5 March: “Let us invest in wind and renewables – European energy sources which do not have to be imported, which will not run out, in industries in which Europe leads the world. Renewable energy is already providing well over 20% of our electricity and can do far more.”
In a report by The European Wind Energy Association [EWEA] called ‘Avoiding Fossil Fuel Costs with Wind Energy’, data from the EC shows that Europe spent €545 billion on fossil fuel imports in 2012 — that’s around three times more than the Greek bailout up to 2013.
The full report will be released on 10 March at the opening of EWEA’s Annual Event in Barcelona.
More information: www.ewea.org/annual2014