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Press release: ITRE committee’s endorsement of a 35% renewable energy target for 2030 can bring the EU back on track to global leadership


PRESS RELEASE. One year ago, the European Commission presented the Clean Energy for All Europeans legislative package, but it’s headline target of 27% renewable energy by 2030 fell short of its ambitions. With today’s vote, adopting a target of at least 35% renewables, the European Parliament Committee for Industry, Research and Energy puts the EU within reach of meeting its objective of being world leader in renewables.

James Watson, CEO of SolarPower Europe adds “The European Parliament has shown ambition by adopting an EU binding renewable target of at least 35% by 2030. Through this vote MEPs send a clear signal, that Europeans expect investments in renewables to increase in the next decade compared to the current one. We now call on the Council to endorse these ambitions and make sure that Europe leads on renewables.”

The European energy sector must fully decarbonise to comply with the objective of the Paris Agreement and keep average global temperature increase below 1.5°C. A 35% renewable energy target in 2030 is the bare minimum required to maintain the fast-paced growth of the renewable sector in face of increasing international competition. A strong and vibrant domestic market will ensure Europe reaps the economic benefits of a clean and efficient energy system fit for the twenty-first century.

“A 35% renewable energy target by 2030 would keep Europe in the game in terms of global renewable energy technology leadership, and generate significant jobs, growth and export opportunities. The Rapporteur has done excellent work in reaching a strong cross-party agreement”, said Rémi Gruet, CEO of Ocean Energy Europe.

For the EU to be world leader and remain a driving force on climate action, European and national policies must allow for a thorough penetration of renewable energy in all segments of the energy sector: electricity, heating & cooling and transport.
“However, provisions adopted on heating and cooling are not quite ambitious enough to prevent the EU from locking in fossil fuels in this sector,” nuanced Jean-Marc Jossart, Secretary General, AEBIOM.

“The 35% renewable energy target voted today calls for more ambition also at the decentralized level. Renewables in buildings must get a real boost in the next decade if this target is to be reached,” for Pedro Dias, Secretary General, Solar Heat Europe

A robust and reliable governance framework, including sound planning and steady renewable deployment trajectories, is now needed to back the “at least 35%” target and provide renewables investors with the long-term perspective they need to plan industrial activities.

“The efforts made by all political groups to find compromises on the most important issues are positive. The Rapporteur on the Renewable Directive has done an excellent work in reaching such a strong cross-party agreement. The Parliament must now defend this position and bring the Council to this sensible and much needed level of ambition,” concludes Philippe Dumas, Secretary General, EGEC

“In view of the Paris agreement, we need a strong national obligation besides ambitious targets of at least 35 %, ” said Dr. Dörte Fouquet, Director, EREF

Small is beautiful: Don’t burden small businesses and consumers, empower them to boost the energy transition

PRESS RELEASE – Brussels, 9th of November 2017 – The trade associations representing key players in Europe’s energy transition urge policy makers to take a step-wise approach towards the market integration of small-scale renewable and high efficiency cogeneration installations.

Whilst the European institutions are negotiating the recast of the Electricity Market Design Regulation, the signatories of the declaration launch today the “Small Is Beautiful” campaign, aiming at highlighting the benefits of small-scale, clean and locally owned installations to move progressively towards a decentralised energy system.

James Watson, CEO of SolarPower Europe said: “Small installations empower territories, small businesses, and consumers. When it comes to solar, they are also the biggest job providers. We must reflect on the energy transition we want to see emerging in Europe.”

These benefits are, however, threatened by the European Parliament’s current proposal requiring all power generators to be “balancing responsible” and the blanket removal of priority dispatch.

Small-scale renewable and high efficiency cogeneration installations are generally run by private consumers, households, communities, farmers, cooperatives or SMEs and benefit the local economy. However, European power markets are mostly not yet « fit » for small installations. Removing the balancing responsibility exemptions and priority dispatch will result in disproportionate costs and technical and administrative burdens.

Rémi Gruet, CEO of Ocean Energy Europe, commented “To accelerate the energy transition, investor risk needs to be reduced. Exemptions to balancing responsibility and maintaining priority dispatch go a long way in achieving this. All the more so for demonstration projects for innovative technologies: the lower the risk, the faster they can be taken to market”.

“Keeping the priority dispatch and access regimes for small installations as proposed by the European Commission is fundamental for empowering energy consumers and boosting investments in local sustainable and efficient energy solutions”, indicated Hans Korteweg, Managing Director of COGEN Europe.

Rather than encouraging the participation of consumers or SMEs in the energy transition, the current proposals on the table would act as a disincentive.
Signatories of the declaration urge policy makers to maintain priority dispatch and the exemption of balancing responsibilities for small scale renewable and highly efficient cogeneration installations.

A balanced approach is key to enable the advent of an increasingly distributed energy system, empowering energy consumers and contributing to the economic and social dynamism of local communities and small businesses.

Find out more about the Small is Beautiful campaign on the Solar Power Europe website.