EU establishes guidelines for renewable energy policy
On 3 December, the Ministers of the Energy Council adopted conclusions on renewable energy, which outline options for future action, in particular in order to facilitate long-term planning for industry and investors.
A longer-term perspective would have a positive influence on investment, given the long planning process and investment horizon for renewable energy sources, while ensuring economic and environmental sustainability.
The conclusions underline the key role played by renewable energies in the attainment of the EU's wider goals for a low carbon economy, security of supply, and competitiveness. They also address the next steps for the period beyond 2020, when the EU should meet its target of 20% of energy consumption from renewable sources. According to Commission estimates, the EU is currently on track to achieve its goals.
The priorities set out for further work on renewables concern in particular:
better integration of renewables into the electricity market;
more efficient support schemes; and
taking advantage of the potential of international cooperation and trade.
The conclusions are a response to the Commission's Communication "Renewable Energy: a major player in the European energy market." This paper stresses the contribution of renewables to diversification of the EU's energy supply, increasing security of supply and improving European competitiveness, thus creating new industries, jobs, economic growth and export opportunities, whilst also reducing greenhouse gas emissions.