Today the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) published a new report revealing that by 2020, the EU wind farm industry would avoid 342 million tonnes of CO2, equivalent to 31% of the EU’s target of reducing emissions by 20%. If emissions avoided by other renewable electricity technologies are included, the equivalent of almost half (48%) of the EU’s target of reducing emissions by 20% is avoided.
In Brussels the Danish Minister for Climate and Energy, Martin Lidegaard, reacted to the published report, referring to the "impressive figures in the report which show how much we can achieve in the next ten years".
Jo Leinen, the Chairman of the European Parliament Environment Committee said: "I very much welcome this report, it very much supports the European Parliament’s arguments".
The huge contribution of wind power shows it is possible for the EU to move from a 20% to a 30% emissions reduction target. If the EU was to move to a 30% target, wind energy could still provide the equivalent of 20% of the reduction. The report also analyses the impact of wind energy on the EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS) emission reduction targets and the international greenhouse gas reduction pledges.
The data backs up an earlier report from the EEA showing that both the crisis and renewables have been the main drivers for emissions reductions in recent years. It comes at an appropriate time, as the European Parliament is discussing the 2050 low carbon roadmap presented by the European Commission in February and is actively considering including a demand to increase the legally binding renewable energy target after 2020.
"An ambitious 2020 climate target is key to maintaining Europe’s leadership in the wind power industry in an environment of fast growing global competition from China, the US, South Korea and Japan" said Rémi Gruet, EWEA’s Senior Advisor on Climate and Environment.
"It is clear that by deploying wind energy and other renewables the EU can move to a 30% greenhouse gas reduction target with ease," said Gruet.