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News, Press2007

20% renewables by 2020: Fast and efficient legislation is needed


Lisbon, 12 July 2007 – ‘Reaching 20% of renewable energy by 2020 is feasible only if a fast and adequate policy framework is adopted’, delegates heard at the opening of the European seminar on renewable energy sources organised by the Portuguese Presidency in Lisbon on 11 and 12 July.

Arthouros Zervos, President of the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), was invited by the Portuguese Presidency to express the renewable industry’s opinion on the Renewable Energy Roadmap. Professor Zervos made his point clear: ‘In our view, it is possible to generate 35 % of Europe’s electricity supply by renewable energy sources (up to 15% coming from wind), 25 % of the total heat production and at least 10 % biofuels but to make these targets come true, timing is a key element. In only thirteen years from now on we want to have it realised, a thirteen percentage point increase of renewables in thirteen years. This means the EU needs to adopt the necessary measures as soon as possible. A delay in legislation can cause tremendous delays in action.’

For the European wind industry, a key objective of the future legislation framework is to maintain investor confidence. This can only be guaranteed if there is a clear pathway shown for the different sectors in renewables. Renewable heating and renewable electricity for example are two completely different sectors with different needs and actors. This needs to be clearly pointed out in the national action plans.

‘When it comes to the provisions and principle measures for the different sub-sectors, it is crucial to maintain the already existing frameworks for electricity and biofuels as minimum standards. Current legislation should be strengthened in order to further remove administrative barriers at the European level’, Zervos added.

The sensitive question of ‘how to distribute the 20% overall target into national targets’ was another core element of the debates. ‘Increasing the share of renewables in the EU from around 7% today to 20% in 2020 means an increase of 13 percentage points in 13 years for the EU. One simple option would be for each Member State to increases its share of renewables by 13 percentage points. ‘Such an approach would make the process transparent and avoid long negotiations. The commitment was taken in solidarity, and so should be the actions. There is absolutely no scientific evidence in any country which could justify that a single Member State is not able to deliver a 13 percent point increase’, commented Zervos.

Note to Editors:

- To see the full speech of EWEA President: Click here
- EWEA is the voice of the wind industry - actively promoting the utilisation of wind power in Europe and worldwide. EWEA members from 40 countries include over 300 companies, associations and research institutions. These members include manufacturers covering 98% of the world wind power market, component suppliers, research institutes, national wind and renewables associations, developers, electricity providers, finance and insurance companies and consultants. This combined strength makes EWEA the world’s largest and most powerful wind energy network.