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EC needs new controls to ensure renewable energy pledge target by 2030

Published:  16 June, 2015

The European Commission needs new powers to ensure that Member States meet the EU’s 27% renewable energy pledge by 2030, according to a paper released by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA).

By December 2015, the European Commission must come forward with renewable energy benchmarks, which should provide an indication for Member States on reaching the EU-wide target by the end of the next decade. It is of paramount importance that the target is distributed fairly among the Member States.

Kristian Ruby, chief policy officer at EWEA, said: “In the absence of a nationally binding commitment for 2030, it is important that the Commission puts its foot down if Member States fail to deliver on the 27% target. We must not have a situation where some countries take a back seat in the hope that other more ambitious Member States pick up the slack.” He added: “It is essential that the role of the Commission is reinforced after 2020 to safeguard investor confidence and the regulatory stability needed to take Europe’s renewables rollout through the next phase.”

Member States must set their individual commitments by no later than December 2017.

In the event that national contributions do not meet the overall target, the Commission should broker cooperation between neighbouring Member States, particularly with those that have pledged below the Commission’s original benchmark.

If those countries still fail to make up the shortfall, the EU executive must put in place a programme as of January 2020 and require that Member States with low contributions pledge to an EU-wide fund for the development of renewable energies.

Under a 2030 governance system, EWEA is calling for the Commission to make official policy recommendations on national renewable energy action plans every two years. If a Member State were to ignore a policy recommendation, the Commission could issue a warning with the possibility of referral to the European Court of Justice if no action is taken. The EU executive must also have the authority to intervene when Member States make counter-productive changes to domestic renewable energy policies.

Ruby said: “It is imperative that the Commission is able to act. Under a stricter governance system, Member States would need to inform the Commission before making any regulatory changes that might impact the deployment of renewable energies.”

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