Ministers back renewables, efficiency and infrastructure on the way to 2050

European energy ministers gathering in Denmark for an informal meeting supported renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure as the core elements of Europe’s future energy system as put forward by the European Commission in its Energy Roadmap 2050.

“The Council took a promising step towards agreeing on a pathway towards a renewable and energy efficient sector by 2050”, commented Josche Muth, Secretary General of the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC).

The Energy Roadmap 2050, tabled by the European Commission in December 2011, identified renewables, efficiency and infrastructure as the common elements across different “decarbonisation scenarios” that are needed to be promoted in all cases – the so-called “no-regrets” options. During the press conference following the informal meeting, Energy Commissioner Oettinger and Denmark’s Energy and Climate Minister Lidegaard said that these three elements were “accepted” as the “platform for discussion” of a future energy system.

“EREC is pleased to see that Member States share the view that a high level of renewables is a prerequisite for any “decarbonisation scenario”, stated Muth. “It is now high time to endorse a post-2020 renewable energy target. Binding targets have proven to provide the necessary long-term predictability needed to attract large amounts of private capital investments into a sustainable energy future”, he continued.

EREC is calling for 45% renewable energy as a new binding target for 2030. A 2030 renewable energy target is supported by Climate Action Commissioner Hedegaard, and Energy Commissioner Oettinger called for a decision on such a target by 2014.
Moreover, in response to a public consultation earlier this year for a new Renewable Energy Strategy, a clear majority of stakeholders expressed support for a mandatory target for renewable energy post-2020.