Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Energy mix: EU needs fixed target for renewables’ share by 2030, MEPs say

Solar Radiation Map of Europe: Global Horizontal Irradiance Map of Europe, SolarGIS 2011 © 2011 GeoModel Solar s.r.o.
The need for a better integrated system at EU level to promote renewable energy, the possibility of adopting a mandatory target for 2030 and the desirability of incentives to invest were highlighted in a non-legislative resolution voted by Parliament on Tuesday.

“This resolution is a starting point for future debates. Renewable energy support needs to be seen from an EU perspective. We need to talk about how we are going to shape our climate policy after 2020 overall”, rapporteur Herbert Reul (EPP, DE) told the House.

Targets and milestones should be set for the period to 2050, and MEPs suggest that the EU should try to achieve a share  of renewables in the overall energy mix even greater than the European Commission’s current working assumption of 30%.

An amendment calling on the Commission to propose a mandatory EU-wide share for renewables for 2030 was adopted by a narrow majority (339 votes to 336, with 19 abstentions), but a proposal that this target should be between 40% and 45% was rejected (284 votes to 365, with 35 abstentions).

Towards an integrated EU support mechanism

MEPs argue that it is essential to move the debate about a suitable EU system of support for post-2020 forward. A long-term integrated strategy for promoting renewables at EU level should take account of the wide variety of promotion mechanisms currently existing among member states, as well as of regional and geographical differences, says the text.

Promoting investments within a stable framework

Safe, affordable and sustainable energy provision is indispensable for the competitiveness of European industry and the economy, so access to capital for investment is a crucial factor in the further deployment of renewable energy, especially in the light of the financial crisis, argues the text.

By exchanging good practice, member states could help to ensure that the internal energy market works well and thus sends the right signals to potential investors, say MEPs. For this, a stable and cost-effective post-2020 policy framework is considered a prerequisite.

The non-legislative resolution was passed by 465 votes to 177, with 46 abstentions.

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