The European Commission must come forward with renewable energy benchmarks by December 2015, in order to provide an indication for Member States on reaching the EU-wide target by the end of the next decade, according to the EWEA. This should ensure that the target is distributed fairly among the Member States. Meeting the 27 percent target will be instrumental in driving down costs and help establish the EU as a global leader in renewables.
Where there are no binding national targets set by Member States, guarantees need to be put in place regarding their commitments to renewable energy deployment. To this end, the European Commission should table a proposal for a robust and transparent governance system in 2015. This process will ensure a strong legal basis, limit investor risk and therefore ensure a cost-effective implementation of the renewable energy target.
“In the absence of a nationally binding commitment for 2030, it is important that the Commission puts its foot down if Member States fail to deliver on the 27 percent target” said Kristian Ruby, Chief Policy Officer at EWEA. “We must not have a situation where some countries take a back seat in the hope that other more ambitious Member States pick up the slack.”
Mr Ruby added that it is essential that the role of the Commission is reinforced after 2020 to safeguard investor confidence and the regulatory stability needed to take Europe's renewables rollout through the next phase. It is imperative that the Commission is able to act. Under a stricter governance system, Member States would need to inform the Commission before making any regulatory changes that might impact the deployment of renewable energies.
Member States must set their individual commitments by no later than December 2017.
In the event that national contributions do not meet the overall target, the Commission should broker cooperation between neighbouring Member States, particularly with those that have pledged below the Commission's original benchmark. If those countries still fail to make up the shortfall, the EU executive must put in place a programme as of January 2020 and require that Member States with low contributions pledge to an EU-wide fund for the development of renewable energies.
Under a 2030 governance system, EWEA is calling for the Commission to make official policy recommendations on national renewable energy action plans every two years. If a Member State were to ignore such a recommendation, the Commission could then issue a warning with the possibility of a referral to the European Court of Justice if no action is taken. The EU executive must also have the authority to intervene when Member States make counter-productive changes to domestic renewable energy policies.
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