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Europe Sets the Standard for the Globe

Recently the European Council has agreed that the European Union will increase the share of renewable energy to 20% by the year 2020. The EU has adopted this share as a binding overall target for its member states. This is good news for our industry, and governments around the world should feel encouraged to set up ambitious binding targets and effective implementation programmes as well.

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{access view=!registered}Only logged in users can view the full text of the article.{/access}{access view=registered}The EU deal was a compromise between nations that had demanded mandatory targets on clean energy, and eastern European nations led by Poland and Slovakia who had said they did not have the financial means to meet such high targets for developing costly alternatives. Eastern European nations, which preferred to stay with cheaper, but more polluting options such as coal and oil, went along with the deal after western nations conceded that individual targets would be set for each EU member within the overall goal of 20% renewable energy use.


The EU still has to draw up the detailed rules specifying how the deal will be enforced. The current percentage for renewable energy sources in Europe is around 6%, of which 3% (48GW) is generated by wind.

Policy Backed by Citizens
EU citizens prefer renewable energy sources in general and wind and solar in particular, according to the latest Eurobarometer opinion survey on energy technologies published by the European Commission. The survey shows that 71% of EU citizens are 'very positive' about the use of wind energy in their country. Only solar power reaches a higher acceptance level (80%), whereas gas is supported by 42%, coal by 26% and nuclear power by 20%.

Supply Shortage
The industry itself faces the bottleneck of supply shortage. This issue needs to be solved to fulfil the continuing growing (and necessary) demand for turbines. Component manufactures are all working to increase capacity, but according to some experts the problem will not be solved before 2009. However, now that the EU has committed itself to these ambitious goals, the industry is likely to develop as a mature industry with long-term views and accompanying investments.

Based on the above I would say that the goal of 20% by 2020 is realistic. Many things are in favour, so I just say, seize the moment and let's go for it!

Enjoy reading,

Floris Siteur

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