Background information – the story so far

2011: In March 2011 EWEA launches call for a binding renewable energy target for 2030. The EWEA calls were supported by Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard:

"[It is] high time to start discussing a 2030 renewable energy target [in order to] provide the [renewables] sector and investors with predictability."

In December 2011 The Commission presents its 2050 energy roadmap, where renewables figured as a "no regrets option" (with wind energy being the key electricity technology in any scenario in 2050), alongside energy efficiency and infrastructure. 2030 was presented the key focus for future legislation.

At the launch of the roadmap, Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger states:

"With our roadmap we want to ensure that, for all participants, there should be an interesting discussion on binding targets for renewables by 2030. This should begin now and lead to a decision in two years time".

He later declares he supports the targets:

"Since 2050 is quite some time away, if we are to continue to promote a stable framework for the growth of renewable energy, we must start to consider the renewable energy targets we need for 2030."

2012-2013: Discussions on post-2020 renewable energy policy are ongoing in the EU institutions. The EU Council calls for post-2020 renewable energy legislation, and in May 2013 the European Parliament calls for a binding renewable energy target.

2013: In February 2013, EWEA issues its position paper on a 2030 climate and energy framework. In March 2013 the Commission's issued its Green Paper, which launched a consultation on the next 2030 framework. EWEA responds, and the Commission presents its results in September 2013.

Support Mechanisms for RES electricity

The 2001 RES-E directive gives Member States the possibility to choose from different support mechanisms for the promotion of renewable energy sources that produce electricity. There are two main tools: feed-in tariffs (either fixed price or premium over the "pool") and green certificates, although public tendering, investment incentives and tax exemptions are also applied by some countries.

In 2008, the Commission published a report on national support mechanisms employed by Member States which concluded that major barriers to the growth and integration of renewable electricity remain, and that a long term goal should be harmonisation of support schemes.

Key texts:

Internal electricity market legislation

The Third Liberalisation Package of 2009 assists the creation of an Internal Energy Market for electricity and gas notably by requiring ownership unbundling which means that large, vertically-integrated energy firms which control both electricity production and transmission assets are entirely broken up. It also creates two new European bodies: the European Network of Transmission System Operators (ENTSO) and the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) which have the duty to constitute a common EU-wide regulatory framework for grid management and market integration by implementing so-called binding Framework Guidelines and Network Codes.

Key texts: