EWEA urges ambition at 2030 talks

As the first of a string of crucial March meetings over climate policy kicks off in Brussels, the head of the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) again urged Europe’s leaders to establish an "ambitious” EU goal for renewables of "no less than 30%, to be divided into binding national targets”.

Thomas Becker, the chief executive of EWEA, says in an open letter to heads of state that Europe’s wind industry is "disappointed” by the Commission’s lack of ambition on renewables, following the release of its blueprint for climate and energy policy to 2030.

Following discussions in Brussels by environment ministers today, and energy ministers tomorrow, Europe’s heads of state will meet on 20-21 March to discuss the proposed package.

"We doubt a 27% renewables target binding only at an EU level can benefit Europe by driving the investments and growth in the wind power sector,”said Becker.

Becker urges Europe’s energy ministers to support a binding renewables target of no less than 30% for 2030 as the best way to promote green growth, jobs and industrial leadership.

He points out the wind sector has already created more than 250,000 jobs, with European wind companies becoming global leaders.

“The Commission’s own 2030 impact assessment found that a renewables target of 30% would create 568,000 more jobs in Europe by 2030, and save €260bn ($358bn) in fossil fuel imports compared to the 27% target proposed by the Commission."

Becker says an ambitious and binding renewables target is also crucial to provide the industry with the confidence necessary to reduce the costs of developing renewables.

“An ambitious 2030 renewables target would come at no additional costs for Europe. On the contrary, by reducing the risk premium for financial investors and the capital costs of technologies, it will also enable the most cost-effective achievement of the 2020 targets.”