New energy and climate package for Europe: The European Commission leads the way towards a massive expansion of wind power
Today’s Commission proposal for 20% renewable energy by 2020 paves the way for a massive expansion of wind energy in the 27 Member States and a new energy future for Europe. It proposes a stable and flexible EU framework in which Member States keep control of their renewable energy policies through successful national support systems. In addition, cross-border transfer of guarantees of origin can only take place where Member States have met or exceeded their interim targets. For the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), these two elements are crucial for maintaining investor confidence and encouraging substantial investments in green electricity.
“The European Commission has today provided a powerful response to the imminent energy and climate crisis. By introducing a voluntary trading mechanism, controlled by Member States, the proposal maintains market stability, increases investor confidence and will help Member States to reach their ambitious, yet achievable, targets” said Christian Kjaer, EWEA Chief Executive.
“The target implies that renewable energy’s share of electricity will increase from 15% today to more than a third of Europe’s demand in 2020. Wind energy will be the biggest contributor to that massive increase in clean electricity production”, Kjaer added.
If the 27 Member States swiftly commit to the national targets, Europe has a real opportunity to change its energy supply structure towards a much larger share of indigenous renewable energy, reduced import dependence and less exposure to high and unpredictable fuel prices, while maintaining its global industrial leadership in wind power technology and other renewables.
EWEA welcomes the Commission’s proposal that Member States and companies will only be able to sell their guarantees of origin if that country is meeting its interim targets, and not before. Such trade must be additional to investment in, and development of, domestic renewable energy sources, planning procedures and grid infrastructures.
In the proposed legislation, the voluntary cross-border trading mechanism is accompanied by measures which positively address obstacles that wind energy is currently facing, such as heavy administrative procedures and grid access issues. EWEA welcomes the proposal to introduce priority access to the grid for renewables and the necessary conditions to streamline burdensome administrative procedures.
Today's decision is only the beginning of a legislative process that could deliver significant results if designed and implemented both rapidly and successfully: the entire climate and energy debate is at stake. Wind energy has a major role to play in meeting climate objectives as it can be installed quickly in the critical period between now and 2020 when greenhouse gas emissions must peak and begin to decline if we are to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.
Another crucial element concerns the rules that will govern the future EU ETS for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the EU, which need to be rapidly agreed by the Council of Ministers and European Parliament. EWEA welcomes the Commission’s decision to establish full auctioning for the power sector from the start of the new regime in 2013.
Note to editors:
- To access the Commission’s proposal, click here.
- EWEA is the voice of the wind industry, actively promoting the utilisation of wind power in Europe and worldwide. It now has 400 members from 40 countries, including manufacturers with a 98% share of the world wind power market, plus component suppliers, research institutes, national wind and renewables associations, developers, contractors, electricity providers, finance and insurance companies and consultants. This combined strength makes EWEA the world’s largest and most powerful wind energy network.