The European Renewable Energy Council (EREC), which has acted as an umbrella lobbying group for various EU renewables associations for nearly 15 years, has been “forced into liquidation” due to unsustainable lease obligations tied to its Brussels headquarters.
The decision comes two months after the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) left the organisation, according to EREC.
Founded in 2000, EREC originally housed six renewables trade groups – including EWEA, the European Photovoltaic Industry Association, and the European Biomass Industry Association.
Over the years it added five additional members, including the European Solar Thermal Electricity Association.
Eight years ago EREC and its member organisations moved into what is now known as the Renewable Energy House in Brussels, and transformed the 140-year-old building into a “living renewable-energy and energy-efficiency showcase”, with all of the heating, lighting and ventilation needs met through renewables.
At an extraordinary general assembly on 6 March, the group decided to enter liquidation due to its “high liabilities arising from its lease obligations” for the building, says EREC president Rainer Hinrichs-Rahlwes.
It is “particularly regrettable and somewhat ironic” that, given the success of the building in demonstrating the reliability of renewables technologies, “the lease agreement ... has now turned out to be the cause of the demise of the organisation”, says Hinrichs-Rahlwes.
Among the achievements it claims credit for, the EU’s 20% renewables target for 2020 “would probably not” have come pass without EREC, says Hinrichs-Rahlwes.