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EC makes €1 trillion renewables investment call

EUROPE: The European Commission has called for €1 trillion worth of investment over the next 10 years to ensure the EU achieves its 2020 emissions reduction targets.

The EU executive body made the call in its communication "Energy 2020 – A strategy for competitive, sustainable and secure energy" published today.

It suggests that new policy initiatives and significant investments are essential if the EU is to face future energy demands.

However, the Commission has yet to decide how these funds should be raised. One of the actions of the communication is aimed at "providing the right financing framework". It said it will define a methodology that will "analyse the optimum balance between public and private financing" in accordance with EU state aid rules.

The Commission also underlined Europe's lack of grid infrastructure to enable renewable energies, such as wind power, to develop and compete on an equal footing with traditional sources.

Likewise, it promised that available funding would be concentrated on the Strategic Energy Technology (SET) plan, including the wind industrial initiative.

EU energy commissioner Günther Oettinger has pledged to make a functioning internal energy market a priority for the next decade.

His ambition to link the whole electricity grid system, from offshore wind farms in the North Sea to individual households with photovoltaic panels, and to make power networks more intelligent, efficient and reliable.

Oettinger plans to present legislative proposals to achieve these goals in the coming 18 months. EWEA chief executive officer Christian Kjaer said "the test will be the strength of these proposals and the willingness of national governments to support them".

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