Europe’s wind industry has put a strong case for a 30% binding renewables target for 2030. Setting the goal at that level would achieve much higher fossil-fuel savings; create thousands more wind jobs; and lower energy costs for industry, according to the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA).
An EWEA study, Avoiding
fossil fuel costs with wind energy, says replacing generation from
hydrocarbons with wind would reduce energy dependency, while lowering fuel
import bills and greenhouse gas emissions.
EWEA says the “unambitious”
White Paper proposal for a 27% renewables target for 2030 would —
according to the European Commission’s (EC’s) impact assessment — save
€190bn ($262bn) on fossil-fuel imports from 2011 to 2030. However, a 30%
target would save €450bn.
Jacopo Moccia, EWEA’s head
of political affairs, says: “Europeans are shelling out over €1bn a day on
importing fossil fuels from sometimes unreliable suppliers, when by investing
in wind they can boost energy security and put money into a world-leading
European industry that provides 250,000
jobs. This report shows the difference wind energy can make now and in
EWEA argues that oil and
natural-gas prices are volatile, and — as the commission and the International
Energy Agency predict — will only increase over the next few decades.
“However, wind power does
not require costly fuel to produce energy, and therefore its electricity
generation is not exposed to these fuel price increases and volatility,” the
*Setting a binding EU
2030 target of 30% (rather than the proposed 27% which is non-binding on member
states) to give the wind industry a stable regulatory framework.
*Ensuring that the
Emissions Trading Scheme provides a high and stable carbon price to
disincentivise investment in fossil-fuel generation.
*Guaranteeing public investment in R&D to increase the
competitivenesss of wind energy.
*Building the power grid
up and out to ensure Europe is joined up and wind can be transmitted to all
*Setting a minimum emissions
performance standard for all newbuild power plants.
In a slap in the face for
the EC, the European Parliament has already voted in favour of a 30%
renewables target for 2030, backing verdicts by its energy & industry and
environment committees in favour of binding targets for renewables, greenhouse
gas emissions reductions and energy efficiency.
proposed targets will be debated by European leaders at summits this month and
in June. Firm legislative proposals are not expected before 2015, following
European parliamentary elections and a change of commissioners this year.