Brussels in brief, WW200911
Commission makes smart wind investment, but must clarify origin of financing money
The €6 billion of funding proposed for wind energy research by the European Commission in its October Communication on “Financing Low Carbon Technologies” is a smart investment given how much wind can contribute to Europe’s competitiveness, energy security and greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets.
Yet key questions remain, such as where will the funding come from? In a recently published briefing on the Communication, EWEA outlines the main elements of the Communication and recommends future actions.
The Communication is part of the Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan), which aims to accelerate the availability of low and zero-carbon technologies and engage European industry in the process so that it can gain world leadership in the sector. In order to implement the SET-Plan, the Commission drew up several different technology roadmaps, including for wind energy. The Communication on “Financing Low Carbon Technologies” proposes how much funding should be given to each sector to help implement the roadmaps.
“Although it is just 12% of the €50 billion increase in funding proposed in the Communication, €6 billion is a real improvement on the 1% of EU energy funds that went to wind up until 2002”, says Justin Wilkes, EWEA’s Head of Regulatory Affairs.
According to the European Commission, the investment should help ensure wind provides 20% of Europe’s power in 2020 and 33% in 2030, creating up to 250,000 jobs and helping meet the EU’s GHG reduction targets.
“But for this to happen the Commission needs to rapidly identify where this money will come from to avoid any loss of momentum for the wind industry, and the Commission should also oversee the way those financial resources are used”, Wilkes added.
EWEA urges the Council and European Parliament to approve the Commission Communication by early 2010 so that the European Wind Industrial Initiative – which was in part drawn up by the industry to propose specific R&D projects – can be launched.