The 40-page document asks all 27 EU member states to explain how they will meet their binding renewable energy targets set under the European renewable energy directive. The commission has "omitted nothing," says Justin Wilkes of the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA). "The document is very strong and it sets out clearly the obligations and requirements. This sends lots of stability and predictability to industry." EWEA says it paves the way for 230 GW of wind power, 40 GW of that offshore.
Member states must set national sector targets for electricity, transport, and heating and cooling and outline the expected contribution of each renewable energy technology to these targets. The template also requires national governments to explain their plans for developing power grids, in particular projects aimed at improving transmission infrastructure and reinforcing the interconnection capacity with neighbouring countries.
Measures planned to reduce red tape must also be detailed - governments must list "unnecessary obstacles or non-proportionate requirements" and outline "whether further steps are needed to ensure that procedures are proportionate and necessary." Completed NREAPs must be submitted to the commission by June 30, 2010. If any country fails to meet the deadline, or the commission deems a plan as insufficient, it can start infringement proceedings against the country.