European Commission calls out EU countries on insufficient renewables ambition, lack of policy measures in their National Energy and Climate Plans

The European Commission today released its assessment and recommendations on the EU-28 countries’ National Energy and Climate Plans for 2030. These Plans aim to drive investments into the energy transition and ensure that Europe meets its collective 2030 target of 32% renewable energy.

As they stand the Plans will not allow Europe to deliver on its 32% target according to the Commission.

This is because 15 countries are not planning to contribute their fair share on renewables: Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia and the UK.

The Commission also wants Member States to be granular on the measures that will deliver renewables investments. In particular measures on repowering of wind farms reaching the end of their operational life, streamlining permitting for renewables, removing barriers to corporate renewable Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) and boosting the electrification of heating, transport and industrial processes in their final Plans.

The Commission will continue engaging EU countries to improve the National Plans, sharpen the national objectives and spell out policies that can ensure their implementation. Countries will have until the end of 2019 to finalise the Plans.

WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson said: “The message from the European Commission is clear: failing to plan is planning to fail. The draft Plans don’t get Europe to 32% renewables by 2030. And they’re badly lacking when it comes to specific policy measures. The Commission’s recommendations highlight the areas where countries need to step up their game e.g. permitting, electrification, corporate PPAs, and the repowering of existing wind farms. Member States now know what they’ve to do – ramp up the ambition and fill in all the policy gaps. The Commission needs to stay on their backs and make sure they get it right.

“There’s only six months to turn the Plans into the investment brochures they’re supposed to be. It’s a once in ten-year opportunity to send the right investment signals. Citizens showed strong support for a more sustainable economy in the recent European elections. And it makes economic sense: wind is the cheapest form of new power generation. Detailed, ambitious and clear Plans will encourage the renewables industries to invest. The wind industry alone employs 300,000 people in Europe, is a major European exporter and brings investment to local communities.”