MEPs slam RES target based on outdated costs

EUROPE: The European Parliament's lead negotiator over reforms to the 2009 Renewable Energy Directive has urged the EU executive to produce up-to-date figures on the cost of green power.

Calls for the European executive to use updated cost figures for renewables
Calls for the European executive to use updated cost figures for renewables

The move comes as lawmakers seek agreement on a 2030 target for renewable energy. "What we really need is the official data, so we can dispel all the ambiguities," Spanish MEP Jose Blanco Lopez said.

He was speaking at an industry and energy committee meeting debating amendments to a European Commission proposal for a 27% target by 2030.

Blanco, whose first draft of the parliament's formal position calls for a target of 35%, noted a "broad majority" among MEPs who see a lack of ambition in the EU executive's bill.

The legislative proposal is part of a "clean energy package" of climate and energy policy tabled in November 2016.

Green MEP Claude Turmes noted that the impact assessment used by the Commission had assumed the cost of offshore wind would be €110/MWh in 2030, while tenders in the Netherlands and Denmark last year had seen bids for projects at a cost of €45-55/MWh.

The European Commission is updating its figures, said Mechtild Worsdorfer, head of renewables and energy efficiency at the executive's energy directorate, acknowledging prices have fallen in solar PV as well as wind power. "Reaching the target of 27% will certainly become cheaper," she said.

Blanco also repeated criticism of the Commission's proposal to abandon nationally binding renewable energy deployment targets from 2020 onwards.

He said the EU should continue this system rather than rely on governance legislation to ensure member states pull their weight in reaching the EU-wide target.

However, the centre-right EPP group, the largest in the parliament, agrees with ending nationally binding targets.

Its rapporteur Sean Kelly favoured a "union-wide target with strong governance and some opportunity to reassess if some member states do not step up to the plate".

Blanco said he was working through 1,300 suggested amendments and would present the shadow rapporteurs with compromise amendment proposals within days.

A final vote in the committee is slated for 28 November. Following formal adoption of the position at a plenary session, the Spanish MEP will lead the parliament's negotiating team in talks with national delegates from the EU Council.

First published on Ends Europe

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