European Council vote gives support to a new green energy revolution.
Yesterday’s approval of the EU’s proposed Economic Recovery Plan by the 27 Ambassadors to the EU is an acknowledgment that policy makers, despite dealing with the chaos created by the deepening global financial crisis, understand the value of wind power, other renewables and energy efficiency.
Council’s decision to approve the spending of €565 million on offshore wind energy projects should boost the emerging market for offshore wind power technology, Europe’s largest indigenous energy resource.
In addition, agreeing to allocate over the next two years some of the €3.98 billion the Recovery Plan earmarks for energy projects towards improving interconnector efficiency on the power grids, and initiating the first stage of an offshore electricity ‘supergrid’ could speed up offshore development and network integration even further. As a result, it will also benefit consumers directly by improving cross-border electricity flow.
Dealing, in part, with the financial crisis by promoting investments in offshore wind and electricity infrastructure also begins to address the huge and dangerous environmental deficit that global warming has created.
Of course, much work still has to be done to kick-start our moribund economy, secure energy supplies for the world’s growing population and mitigate climate change by quickly transforming our way of life away from burning fossil fuels that unsustainably scorch the atmosphere.
But yesterday’s vote, which the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) supports, is a good first step on our long road to a low-carbon future, a future that requires humankind to accept an all-encompassing green revolution.
Onshore wind is already making an increasingly significant contribution to Europe’s electricity, energy and environmental needs. It’s a proven technology that is fast, affordable, local, sustainable and non-polluting. It creates new jobs, promotes research and develops export opportunities. It is a success story destined for an even brighter future.
The fledgling offshore wind sector, however, still requires EU help to meet its amazingly large potential, which could, in turn, help drive our transition to a more sustainable society.
That’s why yesterday’s vote by Council is so important. Yesterday, Europe’s politicians decided to choose a different, healthier future than the old and failed business-as-usual approach that currently entraps us all.