The European Commission has published its proposals to put an end to differentiated support for renewable technologies such as onshore and offshore wind in its consultation of draft State aid guidelines for energy and the environment.
This would effectively prevent EU Member States from determining their own energy mix – a fundamental principle of EU energy policy.
Pierre Tardieu from the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), said: “These guidelines, if adopted in their present form, endanger Member States’ ability to meet their 2020 renewable energy targets cost effectively.
“Moreover, following the destabilising regulatory changes for renewable energy in many countries, requiring further fundamental changes to support mechanisms would cause major investor uncertainty.”
Member States and stakeholders must ensure the guidelines do not put at risk their path to the 2020 targets when they take part in the consultation on the proposal that has been launched. The guidelines are expected to enter into force on 1 July 2014.
Meanwhile, the EU Commissions latest report (EU Energy, Transport and Emissions Trends to 2050) shows that the EU will fail to meet its 2050 commitment of a reduction of up to 95% in greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), according to the EWEA.
The report forecasts that on current trends, greenhouse gas emissions in the EU will fall by 24% by 2020 but by just 44% by 2050.
Justin Wilkes, EWEA
Justin Wilkes, Deputy Chief Executive, European Wind Energy Association, commented: “With the EU’s power sector expected to be still pumping out almost 400 million tonnes of CO2 annually by 2050, and the EU in an even worse energy security situation, an ambitious 2030 climate and energy framework, with targets for renewable energy and GHG reductions, is more critical than ever. Without such targets energy security and a zero-carbon power sector will be impossible.
“The scenario shows that even under current trends and policies, more wind power capacity will be installed over the next 20 years than any other generating technology – accounting for 37% of new installations – with the result that wind energy will be the leading generating technology in Europe by 2040.
“The European Commission’s scenario highlights a positive medium- and long-term outlook for the wind industry. However, a sharp decline in new installations of wind power from 2021 onwards of 27% highlights the vital importance of a long-term stable regulatory framework for the sector, underpinned by a 2030 renewable energy target.”
Wind and other renewables together account for 59% of all new electricity generating installations over the 20 year period to 2035 in the European Commission’s scenario.