The European Union should look beyond 2020 and develop a long-term renewable energy policy, according to the Committee of the Regions (CoR).
With EU Member States committed to ensuring that renewable energy from sources such as waste and biomass constitutes 20 per cent of the entire energy mix by 2020, the CoR called on the European Commission to bring longer term certainty to renewable energy supply. This included the possibility of looking whether the EU could be 100 per cent reliable on renewable energy by 2050.
Polish politician and rapporteur for the CoR on renewable energy Witold Stępień said: “As in the future renewable energy sources will constitute a considerable share of energy consumed by European society, it is crucial to ensure their coordinated development.
“Furthermore, no significant increase in the share of renewable energy sources will be possible unless current support schemes are improved.
“The key elements in the future development of renewable energy sources will involve coordinated subsidy schemes to support investment enabling the operation of a competitive market. Increasing the role of the regions in the distribution of funds allocated to support renewable energy, creation of centres of renewable energy in the regions to allow for the transfer of local know-how.”
The committee laid out proposals to achieve these objectives that would require EU investment and reduction of fossil fuel subsidies. These include:
- The establishment of a pan-European fund to support renewable energy sources
- Coordination at European level
- Increasing the role of regions
- Multi-level management of the schemes
- Offering of subsidies
- The development of infrastructure providing improved electricity and smart grids
- The costs shared fairly among EU Members States.
The Committee of the Regions is the EU’s assembly of regional and local representatives.