The European energy sector must fully decarbonise to comply with the objective of the Paris Agreement and keep average global temperature increase below 1.5°C. A 35 percent renewable energy target in 2030 is the bare minimum required to maintain the fast-paced growth of the renewable sector in face of increasing international competition believe the 11-strong group of clean energy sector associations, consisting of AEBIOM, EBA, EGEC Geothermal, EHPA, EREF, ESTELA, EUREC, Ocean Energy Europe, Solar Heat Europe, Solar Power Europe and Wind Power Europe. A strong and vibrant domestic market will ensure Europe reaps the economic benefits of a clean and efficient energy system fit for the twenty-first century.
“The European Parliament has shown ambition by adopting an EU binding renewable target of at least 35 percent by 2030” said James Watson, CEO of SolarPower Europe. “Through this vote MEPs send a clear signal, that Europeans expect investments in renewables to increase in the next decade compared to the current one. We now call on the Council to endorse these ambitions and make sure that Europe leads on renewables.”
Dr. Dörte Fouquet, Director, European Renewable Energies Foundation (EREF), added that in view of the Paris Agreement, Europe needs a strong national obligation besides ambitious targets of at least 35 percent.
“Renewable energy costs have fallen rapidly, and a higher target is not only affordable but economically desirable: wind is now the cheapest form of new power in most EU countries and it creates jobs and growth” said Giles Dickson, CEO of Wind Europe, “but the affordable and economically desirable target isn’t 27 percent, it’s 35 percent. Just look at what’s happening: Germany awarded 1 GW of onshore wind at 38 euros/MWh last week; Spain’s last auction delivered 33 euros/MWh”.
For the EU to be world leader and remain a driving force on climate action, European and national policies must allow for a thorough penetration of renewable energy in all segments of the energy sector: electricity, heating & cooling and transport. However, Jean-Marc Jossart, Secretary General, AEBIOM, the European Biomass Association, believes that provisions adopted on heating and cooling are not quite ambitious enough to prevent the EU from locking in fossil fuels in this sector.
A robust and reliable governance framework, including sound planning and steady renewable deployment trajectories, is now needed to back the ‘at least 35 percent’ target and provide renewables investors with the long-term perspective they need to plan industrial activities.
“The efforts made by all political groups to find compromises on the most important issues are positive” said Philippe Dumas, Secretary General, EGEC. “The Rapporteur on the Renewable Directive has done an excellent work in reaching such a strong cross-party agreement. The Parliament must now defend this position and bring the Council to this sensible and much needed level of ambition”.