Cut Europe’s reliance on imported gas with a higher 2030 renewable energy target

March 19th, 2014 by The European Wind Energy Association

Wind turbines in the Thames Estuary photographed from Blue Islands flight from Amsterdam to Jersey on 7 January 2014 (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Wind turbines in the Thames Estuary photographed from a Blue Islands flight from Amsterdam to Jersey on 7 January 2014 (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

The European Commission‘s own figures show that a 30% EU renewable energy target for 2030 would cut Europe’s reliance on gas imports by almost three times as much as the European Commission’s proposal for a 27% target.

In a letter to EU foreign ministers, The European Wind Energy Association‘s chief executive Thomas Becker said that a renewable energy target of “at least 30%” would allow Europe to significantly scale back its fossil fuel imports, including from Russia.

Whereas the European Commission’s proposal would reduce gas imports by only 9%, a more ambitious, yet achievable target would cut the same imports by 26%, almost three times as much.

Europe’s wind energy industry also recognises the importance of a target that is binding at a national level.

This would spur green growth, create more jobs and attract investment while maintaining Europe’s position as a global leader in renewable energy.

A 30% renewables target can foster 568,000 more jobs in Europe by 2030 than a 27% target according to the European Commission 2014 Impact Assessment accompanying “A Policy framework for climate and energy in the period from 2020 to 2030.”

EWEA’s appeal to EU foreign ministers comes at a particularly pertinent time as the ongoing crisis in Crimea raises concerns over the future of Europe’s energy security.

European Heads of State are set to meet in Brussels this week to discuss the situation in Ukraine and the 2030 Climate and Energy Framework.

After a letter to Europe’s leaders in February 2014, Thomas Becker said “the situation in the Crimea is a wake-up call: Europeans rely on the most unstable and volatile parts of the world for energy security.”

“For each new fossil fuel fired plant we build, we commit to buying the fuel abroad for years to come without security,” he said.

“Each European is sending €2 net per day to sources outside of the EU.”

“Let us stop creating wealth for the already wealthy in Russia, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.”

“Instead let us invest in wind and renewables – European energy sources which do not have to be imported, which will not run out.”

Business leaders from over 150 companies and organisations have signed a statement calling for a stronger commitment from policymakers to Europe’s 2030 climate and energy objectives including a legally binding target for renewable energy.

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