A consortium of actors in the renewable energy sector provide their view that while the EU has met its 2010 targets under the Renewable Energy Directive (2009/EC/28 Directive), recent government policy changes are making it much more difficult to ‘keep on track’ and meet the goals set for 2020.
This analysis comes ahead of the release by the European Commission of its biannual progress report on the basis of the Member States’ reports which were submitted at the end of 2011.
“The European Union is currently on track to meet the 2020 renewable energy target. However, negative developments observed in Member States over the last twelve months dangerously harm investor confidence at a crucial time and make it much more difficult to achieve the target”, said EREC’s President Rainer Hinrichs-Rahlwes, as coordinator of this project. “If the EU is not to derail, governments must be advised that harmful behaviour such as cuts to support schemes or moratoriums on new projects will only make it more difficult for them in the last few years of the decade”, Hinrichs-Rahlwes added.
Member States’ Progress Reports show that the EU had already met in 2010 the milestone established for 2012 (according to the Renewable Energy Directive), as highlighted by the eleven national renewable energy associations that contributed to the in-depth national analyses available online. However, this positive picture hides a gloomy outlook.
“Due to abrupt regulatory changes, notably the retroactive changes observed in several countries such as Spain and Bulgaria or the moratorium on new renewable energy developments introduced in Spain and Portugal, the European Union could miss its overall 2020 renewable energy target, contrary to previous assumptions. Another issue concerns the heating sector where most Member States introduce first and foremost ‘stop and go’ measures, harming investor confidence”, adds EREC Senior Policy Adviser Lucie Tesnière.
The European renewable energy sector brings important benefits within the Member States in terms of job creation, additional investments, and growth. These skilled jobs should not be threatened by abrupt, short-sighted regulatory changes and this could be avoided with the adoption of a stable longer-term vision by national governments, which could instead spur economy recovery at low costs.