The European Union (EU) should adopt a binding renewable energy target for 2030 to secure long-term investment in renewable energy, according to the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA)

At Europe's largest wind power conference and exhibition in March, Arthouros Zervos, EWEA president, warned, “The wind industry expects to invest some 400 billion euros in Europe between now and 2030. To do so, it needs stable and certain EU energy policy.”

In the new report “EU Energy Policy to 2050,” EWEA argues that the renewable energy targets set so far have enabled Europe to become a world leader in renewable energy technologies and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. Therefore, the report argues, this successful policy should be repeated for the period after 2020, together with the support of an Emissions Performance Standard and a tighter Emissions Trading System.

EWEA supports an overall EU renewable energy target as proposed by the European Renewable Energy Council, which believes that not less than 45% of the EU's total energy consumption can come from renewable sources by 2030. Wind energy alone could meet 28.5% of Europe's electricity demand by then, according to the EWEA. Already the Member States' National Renewable Energy Action Plans show wind energy providing 14% of the EU's electricity by 2020.

Zervos demanded renewable energy targets for 2030 within the lifetime of the current European Commission and Parliament: “European Commission President Barroso and the other EU leaders need to consider their legacy. They need to provide the renewables sector with a stable framework in which to grow and provide renewable power, new jobs, manufacturing and construction in Europe by giving us targets for 2030, and within the next four years.”

He warned: “For some, 2020 is far away. For politicians, it is at least two elections away — a political lifetime. But for the electricity industry, it is the day after tomorrow.”

Learn more at ewea.org.