The need for a more integrated system at EU level for promoting renewables; the issue of adopting new targets for the period after 2020; and possible solutions that could help boost investments were highlighted in a non-binding resolution on renewable energy, which has been adopted by the European Parliament's Committee on Industry, Research and Energy.
Integrated EU wide support mechanism
According to the report, as a result of disparities between national market features, different potentials, as well as different stages of technology patterns and maturity, a wide variety of different schemes for promoting renewables currently coexist in the EU.
This variety, continues the report, creates problems such as inefficiencies in cross-border electricity trading. MEPs stress that a more integrated system at EU level could help to provide a more cost-effective framework. The report urges the Commission to assess the potential of an EU-wide mechanism for promoting renewables.
A new target for 2030?
Members of the Energy Committee also suggest that targets and milestones should be set for the period to 2050, and given Commission's assumption that renewables will have a share of more than 30% in the EU's energy mix, MEPs also want the EU to try to achieve an even higher share, while asking the Commission to assess the costs and benefits of introducing a mandatory EU-wide target for renewables for 2030 (stop press - recently, the the European Parliament has called for the "successful" 2020 renewable energy target to be prolonged to 2030).
Access to capital for investments is a crucial factor in the further deployment of renewables, while there is an increasing need for a stable policy framework to provide economic guarantees concerning the availability of reserve capacity mechanisms, as well as for system and balancing services, says the text.
Energy Committee members called on the Commission to take action to remedy obstacles to trade to help EU companies to access non-EU markets and highlight the need to facilitate a competitive environment for the operations and internationalisation of SMEs.
"The report gives a realistic overview about the challenges ahead for renewable energies, but also the opportunities they bring," said the rapporteur Herbert Reul (EPP, DE). "We all expect the share of renewables to grow, but we will only be able to accommodate such growth if the required infrastructures are in place[...]our current arrangement with a wide variety of different support mechanisms is certainly not ideal, especially with regard to the internal energy market. In the future we should find a more European approach".