EU Heads of State pave the way for a sustainable European energy future by adopting a binding 20% target for renewable energy
The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) welcomes the decision reached by EU Heads of State to adopt a binding 20% target for renewables by 2020. At the same time, EWEA calls on the Union to ensure legal stability for renewable electricity in the EU until an improved legal framework is in place.
"European leaders have provided a powerful response to the looming climate and energy crisis, and the call from European citizens for more renewable energy. With today’s decision, followed by effective implementation in the near future, Europe now has a real opportunity to change its energy supply structure towards a much larger share of indigenous, renewable resources, reduced import dependence and less exposure to unpredictable fuel prices. Such a supply structure would benefit our economy, environment, companies and the welfare of European citizens for decades to come," commented Christian Kjaer, CEO of EWEA, after the Spring Summit.
Today's decision is only the beginning of a legislative process that could deliver significant results if designed and implemented successfully. A suitable legal framework now needs to be rapidly adopted in order to reach the 20% target, along with clear guidelines to market participants for the future direction of renewable electricity in Europe. In this process, it is crucial for the European wind power industry that uncertainty about the existing legal framework for renewable electricity is avoided, particularly with regard to the successful 2001 Directive on Electricity from Renewable Energy.
In addition, to ensure that the internal market functions well in the future, fair grid access for new entrants is a prerequisite. This can only happen if transmission and production activities are effectively separated in terms of ownership. It is unfortunate that the Heads of State displayed a lack of commitment to real competition in electricity, by rejecting the European Commission's proposal for full ownership unbundling of production and transmission activities in the electricity sector.