RE bodies link for EU targets plea

Leaders of ten European renewable energy associations have made a strong joint call to the European Commission for more ambitious renewables objectives in light of the ongoing crisis in the Ukraine.

In a joint open letter to European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso and European Council president Van Rompuy, the associations welcome the Commission’s recognition of the issue of energy security.

“It is our belief that such a strategy, and surrounding debate, should not stop at diversification of supply routes and better co-operation and fuel storage, as these do not sustainably tackle Europe’s reliance on energy imports,” say the industry bodies.

The letter says the EU’s strategy must take into consideration the broad portfolio of renewables, and in particular the rapid deployment of domestic renewable sources, infrastructure, and strong energy-efficiency policies.

It adds that renewables “can relieve Europe’s economic and political reliance on imports of gas, coal and oil in the most sustainable manner.

"According to the Commission’s own analysis, the EU’s dependence on energy imports comes at a significant cost – €545bn ($745bn) in 2012."

The letter goes on: “As stated in the EC’s own impact assessment for the 2030 Climate and Energy Framework, a 30% renewables target would mean 26% less gas imports than today, and a higher target would mean even lower imports. The Commission’s proposed minimum share of 27% would reduce imports by just 9%."

The associations also claim more ambitious objectives for renewables would significantly reduce Europe’s trade deficit, improve economic stability, boost employment, and secure cost-effective energy supplies in both the short and long term.

The letter is signed by the heads of AEBIOM, ESTELA, EGEC, ESTIF, EPIA, EUREC, EREF, Ocean Energy Europe, ESHA and EWEA.

The full text of the letter can be read here.