17 JUN 2011
The European Commission has put its full weight behind a new target to raise the share of renewables in the continent's energy mix by 2030.
The security that this would provide to potential investors was "more important than ever", EU Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard told a launch for the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)'s renewable energies report in Brussels.
Hedegaard spoke favourably about a recent call by the renewables industry for a legally-binding target of 45% renewables by 2030, but stopped short of endorsing it.
"Where exactly the figure will be, we should discuss and analyse," she said. "But I will say that I will do whatever I can to get this discussion reflected in the energy roadmap that will come out later this year for 2050."
In March, Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger told EurActiv that in this document, the Commission would propose "a long-term target for 2030 and 2040 and 2050 and there will be a higher target for renewable energy".
Speaking in a videotaped address to the conference, he said that Brussels had to consider renewables targets for 2030 if clean energy growth was to be continued.
"The renewable energy industry has already called for 45%," he said. "Our current work will review all the literature and explore different possible pathways for the European Union."
The European Commission's president, José Manuel Barroso, added his voice to the fray, telling the meeting that "2020 is already around the corner and we need to think of intermediate steps up to 2050".
"We need not only to think but to act," he added.
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