EPIA: Three-target approach needed in 2030 EU climate targets

The countries of the EU have been operating under dual targets of a 20% greenhouse gas emission reduction and a 20% renewable energy component in recent years. A push towards setting similar targets for 2030 has been kicked off with the release of an EC Green Paper yesterday.

Both the commissioner for climate change, Connie Hedegaard, and energy, Guenther Oettinger, have supported such a move. Hedegaard told the UK’s Guardian newspaper that dual targets would give investors confidence in making investments in renewable energy. "This is important for our renewables industry, which is a stronghold in Europe, creating jobs and economic growth."

Oetttinger concurred, saying that a renewables target is important alongside an emission reduction one. "I prefer to have a renewables target – if there is no binding target, then member states can reduce renewable energy after 2020, to less than 20%. That should not be the case. I think we need a realistic new target."

Some member states such as the UK, notes the Guardian, do not support a renewable energy target, instead favoring only an emission reduction target towards 2030.

EPIA has commented that it supports a three-target approach, with energy efficiency also being added to the 2030 targets. "A consistent three-target approach on renewable energy, energy efficiency and emissions reductions will be a critical driver for clean energy investments, while moving the focus away from the most polluting energy sources," said EPIA Policy Director Frauke Thies.

Thies added that such targets are crucial as some EU member states consider retroactive FIT changes and "wavering support" for photovotlaics. The EPIA representative welcomed that the EC had noted that "upredictable and retroactive changes" to photovoltaic regulations had hampered development.

"The Commission is right to strongly reject retroactive changes to political framework conditions that undermine investor confidence, destroy flourishing markets and eventually increase the cost of investments due to the created uncertainty," said Thies.