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Policy, Press2005

European Parliament votes for increased deployment of renewables and calls for mandatory 20% target by 2020

29.09.2005

The European Parliament voted today to strongly support Renewable Energy by adopting a report on the share of renewables in the EU and proposals for concrete action. The report supports an increased deployment of renewable energy sources, calling for an increase of the share of energy from renewables to 20% by 2020 from a level of 6% in 2001.

The report recognises that the EU is a world leader in renewable energy technologies as a result of efforts in some Member States. The report states that renewables will play a major role in the energy mix of the European Union, if appropriate framework conditions are in place. It stresses, however, that the EU power market is “still suffering from a number of serious distortions,” including large direct and indirect subsidies for fossil fuels and nuclear power, lack of internalisation of external costs and unbalanced funding for R&D for renewable energy technology.

The European Parliament key recommendations include:
- a 20% binding target for renewable energies in total energy consumption by 2020 (equivalent to 33% electricity in 2020, up from a level of 12.9% in 2002);
- tax cuts to encourage renewables;
- fair market conditions for electricity produced from renewable energies;
- end to distortions in the energy market (ownership unbundling, market concentration, environmental harmful subsidies to fossil fuels and nuclear energy);
- a clear increase of R&D budget for renewables in the upcoming FP7 to compensate the historical bias in EU energy research programmes;
- the development of an export strategy for less developed countries and emerging economies and as part of poverty reduction strategies;
- renewables to be a key element of structural policy;
- greater use of biomass, a sleeping giant amongst renewable energies;
- further initiatives to promote the use of renewable heating and cooling technologies in particular in the building sector.

The vote on the report is an important indication of the newly elected European Parliament’s support for strengthening existing renewable energy policies and measures.

The European Parliament has made its view clear that renewables are a central part of the European energy supply. It is fully in line with the targets set last year by the European renewable energy industry ”, said Christine Lins, EREC Secretary General.

The report “recognises the exceptional importance of renewable energies, along with energy efficiency and conservation, not only for surmounting health and environmental degradation and ensuring sustainable development which meets Europe’s climate objectives, but also for contributing to innovation and to regional as well as national development, trade opportunities and the creation of jobs in line with the Lisbon agenda”.

Today’s Parliamentary vote sends a strong signal to the Member States and puts additional pressure on the European Commission to come forward with stronger proposals for renewable energies.

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