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Europe’s ‘year of engagement’

European Union (EU) leaders this week called on member states to step up efforts to confirm their climate and energy action plans for 2030.

A new report on the continent’s Energy Union initiative – to make access to affordable and sustainable power one of the block’s ‘fundamental freedoms – shows the EU is making good progress.

And to help further accelerate the transition to clean energy systems that can reduce carbon emissions, Vice-President of the Energy Union, Maroš Šefčovič, wants every EU nation to have their 2030 National Energy & Climate Action Plans in by 2019.

The Energy Union will only succeed if we all pull in the same direction. The aim is to deliver on our commitment to complete the Energy Union by the end of the Commission’s current mandate. By 2019, the Energy Union must no longer be a policy but a daily reality benefitting every European citizen. This will require increased ownership by all parts of society. Therefore, I see the next year as the year of engagement,” he said.

And WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson wants European countries to be ambitious.

He added: “With the International Energy Agency now saying wind will be Europe’s leading electricity source soon after 2030, we need ambitious national plans telling the industry which countries want to see these investments. Investments in manufacturing, skills and R&D only happen when governments give long-term visibility. Countries such as Germany, which has put in legislation the new wind volumes they want every year up to 2030, are sending the right signals. And when Portugal defined ambitious new wind volumes back in 2008, Enercon and Senvion went and built factories there. And the clarity then helps bring down costs. In addition to ambitious plans, a European renewables target of at least 35% by 2030 will allow the wind industry to deliver even bigger volumes at competitive cost. By sticking with low ambition instead of 35%, Europe would miss out on €92bn in wind investments and over 130,000 jobs.”

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