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Policy, Press2006

EU Spring Summit : renewables’ target for 2015 is “a cautious step in the right direction” but does not constitute a long-term commitment

24.03.2006

The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) today strongly supported the EU Heads of State’s call for a common European energy policy. EWEA called the European Council’s reference to a renewable energy target for 2015, “a cautious step in the right direction” but noted that it does not constitute a long-term commitment.

“The European wind energy sector is delighted that the European Commission’s tireless efforts, to get Member States to agree on a common energy policy for Europe, have finally paid off,” said EWEA CEO Christian Kjaer. “A common approach is needed if we are to turn the energy and climate burden into a growth and job opportunity for European companies and citizens.”

Long-term targets are important for the European wind energy sector because they would provide a strong signal of commitment to investors and encourage them to commit risk capital while enabling a stable technology development and cost reductions.

“The leaders of Europe are whispering a medium-term commitment to renewables by agreeing on a reference to a 2015 target for renewables. It is a very cautious step in the right direction, but still far from the ambition level of the European Parliament,” said Kjaer.

In a resolution from 2005 the European Parliament reiterated its position on renewable energy targets for Europe, stressing the importance of setting mandatory targets for 2020.

EWEA strongly supports the European Council’s ambition to create a single European grid and the proposed Priority Interconnection Plan. A European offshore electricity grid would go a long way towards fostering desperately needed competition in the Internal Electricity Market, while creating the foundation for large-scale indigenous renewable energy production in the form of offshore wind energy as well as tidal and wave power.

The European Council’s call for increased energy research efforts under the 7th Framework Programme and the support for “a broader range of platforms” are also welcomed. EWEA hopes that concrete actions would include the Wind Energy Technology Platform proposed by the European wind energy sector. That would ensure further technology development and further cost reductions. This was also supported by the Copenhagen Strategy on Offshore wind power deployment.

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