Energy giants step up calls for 2030 renewables target


SSE, Dong Energy and Acciona among those calling on European energy ministers to deliver post-2020 renewables strategy

Energy ministers from across the EU are to meet in Brussels today to discuss early plans for a new wave of renewable energy policies, amid calls from a group of leading energy companies for the introduction of a new renewables target for 2030.


Under current EU rules, the bloc faces a legally binding target to generate 20 per cent of its energy from renewables by 2020. But growing numbers of clean energy investors are increasingly concerned that without a new target for the post-2020 period confidence in long-term projects and supply chain investments could be undermined.


A group of nine leading European energy companies, dubbed the Coalition of Progressive European Energy Companies, issued a statement ahead of today’s meeting arguing for the “continuation of targeted and ambitious renewables policies and measures towards 2030, such as new binding targets”.


The group, which includes SSE, Dong Energy, Acciona, EWE, Eneco and EDP Renewables, called on ministers to invite the European Commission to begin work “on a post-2020 energy strategy, centred on binding and ambitious renewables measures and a strong EU ETS”.


“It is clear that the binding 2020 renewables target has worked – in the absence of a robust carbon price – driving economic growth and increasing security of energy supply,” the group added.


“Therefore such an effective policy framework should be extended to 2030, to allow the maturing European renewable industries to continue to become more cost-effective. However, in the absence of a clear renewable policy direction to 2030, the successful development of European renewables industries and the EU decarbonisation agenda is put at risk and exposed to industrial stagnation at a vital point in time.”


The intervention is likely to be welcomed by renewables developers, but energy firms remain divided on the issue with some arguing that the binding target distorts the market and will prove less effective at curbing greenhouse gas emissions than a properly functioning carbon-pricing scheme.


The meeting comes after the price of carbon in the EU ETS hit a record low of €5.89 on Friday, after the European Commission postponed a vote on a new plan to bolster the price of carbon until next year.


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