European Commission Calls on Member States to Boost Co-operation on Renewable Energy

The EU 2020 renewable energy policy goals are likely to be met and exceeded if Member States fully implement their national renewable energy action plans and if financing instruments are improved, according to the European Commission. However, the Commission stresses the need for further co-operation between Member States and a better integration of renewable energy into the single European market. Estimates indicate that such measures could lead to Eur10 billions savings each year.

“We have to invest much more in renewable energy and we need smart, cost-effective financing,” says Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger. “If Member States work together and produce renewable energy where it costs less, companies and consumers and the tax payer will benefit from this.”

The EU is committed to reaching the objective of a 20% share of renewable energy by 2020. To achieve these targets, the Commission is calling on the Member States to:

* Implement the national action plans that Member States have presented in the beginning of 2010. According to these plans, all Member States will meet their national binding targets by 2020. Latest data show however, that in 2010, the indicative targets the Member States set themselves for the electricity and transport sector were missed by most Member States and for the EU overall.

* Ensure a doubling of annual capital investments in renewable energy from Eur35 billion per year to Eur70 billion. Within the new EU legislative framework, Member States will have to commit the necessary efforts to further invest and cooperate on developing renewable energy. Further investment in renewables will require a substantial use of national support schemes. These support schemes, and other instruments used to finance renewable energy at EU or national level, ought to be as cost-effective as possible.

According to the Commission, while different financial instruments are used in all Member States to develop renewable energy – grants, loans, feed in tariffs, certificate regimes etc, their management needs to be improved. Investors need greater coherence, clarity and certainty.

The Communication also stresses the importance of cooperation between Member States. The convergence of support schemes and market integration have to be reinforced to ensure that renewable energy sources and technologies become economically competitive as soon as possible. Commission analysis suggests that up to 10 billion Euros could be saved yearly with a more integrated approach.

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