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Hamburg 2016: EU losing place as renewables leader

EUROPE: Europe has already lost its place as a renewables leader in areas such as new installations and policy and risks losing further ground, according to a report released by trade body WindEurope.

The EU did not make any reference to renewables in its Paris commitment
The EU did not make any reference to renewables in its Paris commitment

WindEurope's 'Making Transition Work' report raises concerns that the 27% renewable energy target in final energy demand by 2030 will delay decisive actions to decarbonise the EU economy by 80-95% by 2050 until after 2030.

It sets out policy proposals to ensure continued growth and investment in the next decade and beyond.

The report recommends the target should be raised to at least 30% of final energy consumption sourced from renewables by 2030.

In its Paris commitment in December 2015, the EU did not make any reference to renewables, let alone wind energy.

To date, only seven member states out of 28, including Denmark, Finland, Germany and France, have put in place energy and climate policies for the post-2020 period.

"This lack of visibility on market outlook in Europe, and the recent regulatory instability, has taken a toll in investments; 2015 was a record year for renewables investment worldwide, but Europe performed worse than other economies," the report stated.

Other policy measures outlined include continued innovation to reduce costs and support the integration of renewables in the energy system.

WindEurope also wants to see further electricity markets reform to make electricity systems fit for purpose, as more renewables are added, and create the right conditions for investment.

"Europe is far from being number one on renewables. China beats us on total volume and new installations, India on policy ambition, and the US in many areas of technology, especially on grid integration. We still have a competitive industry that's winning orders overseas, but we will lose that competitiveness if we don't have a strong domestic market," said WindEurope chief executive Giles Dickson.

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