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EU-wide call for 2030 renewable energy targets

A pan-European coalition of renewable energy companies and associations has urged EU ministers to set new legally binding targets on green energy production.

An open letter organised by the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC), backed by 65 signatories including the UK’s Renewable Energy Association (REA), said the existing 2020 targets had set a ‘clear direction’ and that further targets would give EU energy markets greater stability.

Currently under EU energy regulations member countries are required to increase the share of energy consumption from renewable sources to at least 20% by 2020. The commitment is part of what is often referred to as the 20-20-20 framework.

The letter said: “We, as a group of 65 European companies and associations, strongly believe that a new climate and energy framework for 2030 needs to be based on mutually reinforcing tools and targets, including a legally binding target for renewable energy, and urge all policy makers to support a strong and ambitious regulatory framework for the years to come.”

Renewable Energy Asociation (REA) chief executive Nina Skorupska said: “The UK remains in the bottom three of the EU renewables league table with only 4% renewables while Sweden tops the table with almost 50%.

“But Government has learned a lot from working within this 20-20-20 framework, and it makes sense to go for a similar framework for 2030, including a binding renewables target.

“This will enable Government to build on those lessons, reassure investors, scale up the industry, boost our energy security, reduce our emissions and grow our budding green economy.”

The Government has previously said it would oppose setting an EU-wide 2030 renewable energy target despite many within the industry arguing its case. The 2020 target renewables target has been widely credited within the sector for encouraging investment and growth.

Energy minister Ed Davey has said a further renewable energy target at an EU level would be “inflexible and unnecessary” and that member countries should be free to choose their own energy mix.

Speaking at the recent Liberal Democrat Party conference in Glasgow, Davey trumpeted his record on renewable energy and claimed his was the ‘greenest’ party ever to be in Government.

He said: “Liberal Democrats, we know that seeing the environment and the economy together is crucial. It’s why Liberal Democrats believe our green policies are central for economic recovery.

“The facts are with us: £29bn of investment already secured for renewable energy, supporting 30,000 green jobs.”

  • An attempt to include a decarbonisation target for 2030 in the UK’s Energy Bill was thrown out in the House of Commons in June. The bill has progressed through the committee stage in the House of Lords and will move to the report stage shortly.

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