EWEA backs IEA target warning

European wind industry body EWEA has backed a warning from the International Energy Agency (IEA) that lack of binding EU renewables targets to 2030 could hit deployment by member states.

In a report published today, the IEA cited the absence of a binding EU target as one of the factors that could slow global renewable expansion, as nations would only need to make a voluntary commitment to meeting EU-wide renewables objectives.

EWEA deputy chief executive Justin Wilkes said: "The IEA report hits the nail on the head when it comes to ambitious national targets for 2030.

“Not only is a 27% target too low but it doesn't oblige member states to follow through. Europe's Heads of State need to agree in October on a binding 30% renewables target if real progress is going to be made to improve Europe's energy security, competitiveness and climate objectives."

Despite the policy headwinds, the detail of the IEA report still foresees major – albeit slowing – expansion of global renewables.

Generation is projected to grow by almost 45%, or 2,245TWh, to more than 7,310TWh in 2020, with China remaining "the anchor of renewable capacity deployment", accounting for almost 40% of the global expansion, reports the IEA.

Worldwide renewable capacity additions will be led by wind, although the offshore wind outlook is looking more pessimistic due to financing and integration challenges, it added.

In its Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market report, the IEA said that total renewable capacity, including hydropower, is seen rising from a global total of 1.6TW in 2013 to 2.5TW in 2020.

Two global trends should help drive the deployment of renewable power capacity, said the IEA.

"First, deployment should spread out geographically as renewable electricity capacity scales up, and second, renewable technologies are becoming increasingly competitive on a cost basis with alternatives in a number of countries and circumstances," its data showed.

The IEA also predicts a decline in investments, forecasting that through 2020, investment in new renewable power capacity is seen averaging $230bn annually, compared to the $250bn invested in 2013. China will be the leading area for investments in renewable energy.