BRUSSELS -- The European Union should adopt a binding renewable energy target for 2030, Vestas Wind Systems A/S, Alstom SA and 59 other companies and associations said in a letter to the bloc’s policy makers.
The 28-nation EU needs a strong and ambitious climate and energy package for the decade after its current goals expire in 2020, according to the letter sent today to ministers for energy, EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard and Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger.
“Given the long investment cycles in the energy sector and the fact that investment decisions in the EU’s liberalized energy markets strongly depend on reliability, certainty about the regulatory framework of the next 17 years is needed,” said the companies and lobbies, which also include Spain’s Gamesa Corp. Tecnologica SA and Acciona SA.
The EU, in the fourth year of a sovereign-debt crisis, wants to remain the leader in the global fight against climate change while ensuring the security of energy supply and fostering competitiveness. Climate and energy strategy for 2030 is on the agenda of an informal meeting of energy ministers in Vilnius, Lithuania, on Sept. 19-20.
The European Commission, the bloc’s regulatory arm, has pledged to propose further steps on the package this autumn before EU leaders discuss the matter at a summit in March 2014. The challenge will be for the EU to design a coherent framework that takes into account ambition, competitiveness, economic viability and the differing capacities of member states.
“We, as a group of 61 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,” according to the letter published on the European Renewable Energy Council’s website.
Under the current climate and energy package, the EU has binding goals to cut greenhouse gases by 20 percent and to increase the share of green energy to an average of 20 percent by the end of this decade as well as a political target to boost energy efficiency by one-fifth.
The commission has said the most cost-efficient way for the EU to attain its long-term aim to cut emisions by at least 80 percent in 2050 is to adopt a 40-percent target for 2030. Any decision on a new target will need to be approved by national governments and the European Parliament.
European policy makers will also need to decide whether the region needs binding targets for renewables and energy efficiency after 2020.
Copyright 2013 Bloomberg
Lead image: Wind turbines via Shutterstock