The Renewable Energy Association (REA) has expressed its disappointment at the lack of ambition for renewable energy in the European Commission’s 2030 Energy and Climate Framework.
In a joint statement with the Solar Trade Association (STA), REA criticised the decision by the European Commission not to set specific targets for Member States. Instead, the proposal states that “Attainment of the EU renewable target would be ensured by the new governance system based on national energy plans.”
REA said that the UK Government has been pushing strongly for a ‘technology-neutral’ approach that downplays the role of renewables.
Both REA and STA want binding targets for Member States as they argue the existing 2020 targets have been key to growth in renewables.
REA chief executive Nina Skorupska said: “We’re about to find out what happens when theoretical economics meets the real world. Theory suggests a ‘technology neutral’ approach is economically efficient. But experience shows that binding renewables targets do two things. First, they give a major long-term boost to investor confidence, helping accelerate market growth and technology cost reduction.
“Second, politics frequently trumps economics in the real world, and when politicians go wobbly on renewables, the targets help keep investment flowing.
“New binding targets for Member States would accelerate the cost reduction potential that is unique to renewables. Renewable generators are smaller and more numerous than fossil and nuclear generators, so the combination of greater competition and mass production leads to major cost reductions – as well as more jobs, community participation and greater resilience.
“Many renewables will be cheaper than nuclear well before 2030, and will be cost-competitive with fossil fuels – and no longer require subsidy – sooner with binding targets than without.”