Wind industry calls on Oettinger to back renewables

EUROPE: The European wind industry has urged the EU energy commissioner-designate to ensure wind energy is given the necessary support to play its full part in cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

Incoming EU energy commissioner Gunther Oettinger faces calls to back renewables sector
Incoming EU energy commissioner Gunther Oettinger faces calls to back renewables sector

German Gunther Oettinger has been nominated by EU commission president Jose Manuel Barroso to replace Latvian Andris Piebalgs as head of the European energy portfolio.

The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) says since 2005, when Oettinger became president of Baden-Wurttemberg, the German region has raised its targets for renewable energy to 20% of electricity by 2020, up from 11.8% in 2006.

However, wind power's contribution in the region is less than 0.5% of electricity, which is well below the EU average. Christian Kjaer, EWEA's chief executive, says despite this he has "no doubt" that Oettinger "appreciates the vast contribution that wind power can make to the security of Europe's energy supply, job creation and combating global warming".

Meanwhile, Kjaer is bullish about the nomination of Danish climate and energy minister Connie Hedegaard to the new climate action portfolio.

"Hedegaard will need no convincing on the power of wind energy to fight climate change," he says.

The new commissioners must win approval from the European Parliament during hearings this month before they can officially take up their new roles.

 

 

 

 

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