- Published: 17 January 2007 17 January 2007
The European Renewable Energy RoadmapThe year 2006 started with conflict between Russia and Ukraine about supplying gas to the latter. The new year 2007 started with a similar battle between Russia and Belarus about oil and Russia shut down the pipeline which transports oil to the rest of Europe. The dependency on fossil fuels from other countries and the problem of global warming has put renewable energy back on the top of the European political agenda. EU citizens largely favour renewable energies while only 20% are for nuclear energy, according to a new European Commission survey.
As part of its Energy Policy for Europe, on 10 January the European Commission (EC) released a proposal for a long-term Renewable Energy Roadmap. The proposal includes an overall binding 20% renewable energy target for the EU by 2020, and a pathway to bring renewable energies in the fields of electricity, heating and cooling, and transport to the economic and political mainstream.
According to the EC, technology will play a central role in achieving the targets of the new Energy Policy for Europe. Therefore, between 2007 and 2013 the EC will annually invest approximately € 1 billion in energy technology research and innovation. Technology should lower the costs of renewable energy, increase the efficient use of energy and ensure that European industry is at the global forefront. The European Union aims to be a front-runner in changing the way energy is produced, distributed and used: to this end, the Commission will prepare the first European Strategic Energy Technology Plan in 2007 as part of its Energy Policy for Europe.Regarding the issue of lowering the cost for renewable energy, a recent scenario analysis made by Emerging Energy Research (EER) concludes that based on the economic and risk analysis of power generation, wind technology can no longer be marginalised in the power mix. In a carbon-constrained world, wind power can be competitive with several conventional power technologies depending on the price of carbon. EER’s analysis considers the impact of the cost of carbon at € 30 per metric tonne. Much of the generation capacity we are currently using in Europe is more than 20 years old and has, as such, been 100% depreciated. Therefore, this analysis is interesting in that it compares like with like, that is, newly built wind power plants with newly built conventional power plants. Let’s hope that the Member States take all the necessary measures to reach the Roadmap’s goals so that our industry has a bright future ahead
Enjoy reading.Floris Siteur