Wind execs urge EU energy rethink

Top executives from ten leading European wind companies have called on the European heads of state to reconsider the wisdom of continuing to import over half their energy requirements from outside the EU when they meet tomorrow.

In a letter the executives point out that “currently, the EU is dependent on Russia for 39% of its gas and the European Commission’s recently published energy security plan focuses on ways to reduce this figure.

“The Ukraine situation has made the EU reconsider the wisdom of importing over half its energy,” they say.

At the same time, EU heads of state are considering the 2030 climate and energy proposal put forward by the Commission, which suggests a 27% renewable energy target and a 40% greenhouse gas reduction target.

“Both proposals are welcome steps forward for secure low carbon and affordable energy for Europe. The next step is to put two and two together,” says the letter.

It says the Commission’s own data shows that a 30% renewable energy target for 2030 would, when combined with more energy efficiency, reduce the EU’s gas imports by three times more than the proposed 27% target.

“Overall, 30% renewables would save us €260 billion more on fossil fuel imports than 27% up to 2030.  That’s a saving of seven eurocents a day for each EU citizen,” says the letter.

“Our best route to a more secure energy supply with less price volatility is to put in place the policies that allow domestic renewable energy to replace energy imports and reduce dependency.

“We call on EU heads of state to take this into account when they consider the EC’s 2030 climate and energy proposal and its energy security plan on 27 June. Setting a binding and enforceable renewables target of at least 30% is the first step to real progress on energy security,” they claim.

The letter is signed by José Manuel Entrecanales, chairman of Acciona; Jérôme Pécresse, president of Alstom Renewable Power; Samuel Leupold, chief executive of Dong Energy Wind Power and executive vice-president of Dong Energy; Dirk Güsewell, head of portfolio development, EnBW; Hans-Dieter Kettwig, managing director of Enercon; Massimo Derchi, managing director of ERG Renew; Werner Brinker, chief executive of EWE; Ignacio Martín San Vicente, chairman of Gamesa;Jean-Marc Armitano, chief executive of RES (EMEA); and Morten Albæk, member of the executive committee of Vestas.