EWEA: Renewables laggards should pay into EU energy fund

EU members who are not contributing their fair share to the EU's 27% renewable energy pledge by 2030 should be forced to pay into a clean-energy fund, the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) has asserted.

A new paper from the EWEA claims that all member states should be compelled to contribute to the target, which was established in October last year.

The EWEA recommends that the European Commission should be allowed to set 2020 targets for individual countries to benchmark progress towards the 2030 target.

If countries are found to be falling short, they could ultimately be forced to contribute to an EU fund for the development of renewable energies.

EWEA chief policy officer Kristian Ruby said: “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 towards the renewable target by no later than December 2017.

New powers

The EWEA also suggested that the Commission should be able 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, says the EWEA.

Renewables provided 15% of the EU’s energy in 2013. In February, the European environment agency confirmed that the UK was on track to meet earlier 2020 targets to get 15% of its energy from renewable sources.

Brad Allen

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