Bindin renewal energy targets demanded by the wind energy industry

The European wind energy industry has today called on the EU to adopt a binding renewable energy target for 2030 in order to help secure long-term investment in the low carbon energy market.

The European Wind Energy Associaion (EWEA) released a new report, titled EU Energy Policy to 2050, at its annual conference in Brussels calling on the EU to drive investment in the sector by setting renewable energy targets for the period after 2020, moving forward with proposals for Emissions Performance Standards and tightening the bloc's Emissions Trading System.

EWEA president Arthouros Zervos warned that without these policies the renewable energy industry will face difficulties attracting new investors, as the current renewables goals, which have driven investment to date, will expire in 2020.

"We are facing a policy vacuum after 2020," he warned. "We must ensure that the renewable energy targets established in 2001 and 2009 are replicated for the period after 2020 with ambitious 2030 targets. We must ensure that the success story of renewable energy in Europe survives beyond 2020."

The report argues that any legislative framework post-2020 should include an emissions reduction pathway designed to ensure the EU achieves its target of cutting emissions between 80 per cent and 95 per cent by 2050. It also advises that the pathways should be broken down by sector, including a carbon pathway for the electricity sector that reaches zero carbon well before 2050.

"The pathways should be ambitious, achieve significant reductions earlier rather than later to give industry the right signals from the start and enable Europe to achieve and then benefit from its first mover advantage in wind power and other renewable energy technologies," the report stated.

The news came as EU energy leaders meet in Brussels today to discuss a toughening of the EU's various climate targets. The UK and five other member states are pushing for an increase of emissions reduction targets for 2020 to 30 per cent from the current 20 per cent goal. However, they are facing opposition from a number of eastern European states that want to maintain the current targets.