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Europe Tops its Renewables Targets

EU objectives for this year set out in a 1997 white paper have consistently been overhauled, with 16 GW of PV over target by five times, 1 GW of geothermal heat by three times, and 75 GW of wind by 80%, says EREC.

This trend is now set to continue for European targets for 2020, when the EU aims for 20% of energy to come from renewables, said EREC secretary-general Christine Lins.

“Even in economically challenging times, we are convinced that Europe will not only meet the binding target for 2020 of at least 20%, but clearly surpass it,” she said.

EREC added that the 21 National Renewable Energy Action Plans (NREAPs) – plans submitted to the European Commission to outline strategies to meet the 20% target – give further grounds for optimism, with 13 EU states expecting to beat this figure.

In its recent ‘EU energy trends to 2030’ report, the commission is also upbeat on the 20% target, while anticipating that new capacity will plunge after 2020 so that renewables only edge up to 22.8% of energy by 2030.

But EREC sees this outlook as unduly gloomy.

"Given the progress in recent years and the forecasts on the expansion of renewables by member states themselves, it is surprising that the commission assumes that there will be a significant drop in renewables investments after 2020,” said EREC president Arthouros Zervos.

He was speaking on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of EREC, an umbrella organisation of European renewable industry, trade and research organisations.

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