At a meeting in the European Parliament on 5 November, organized by Eufores, the “Coalition of Progressive European Energy Companies” took the opportunity to stress the importance of the contribution of renewable energy to European competitiveness, growth, employment and energy security. “Looking beyond 2020 renewable energy sources will continue to be crucial in order to achieve the Union’s objective of 80-95 % carbon reduction by 2050”, they said. The Coalition of Progressive European Energy Companies present at the Eufores-event consists of EWE (Germany), SSE (United Kingdom), Eneco (the Netherlands), DONG Energy (Denmark), EDP Renewables (Portugal), Enovos (Luxembourg) and Stadtwerke München (Germany).
“Since the effectuation of the Renewable Energy Directive, the deployment of vast quantities of renewable energy has contributed to a substantial growth in the industry for new and innovative technologies and numerous industry jobs across Europe”, notes the Progressive Coalition. “Furthermore it brought about a more systematic and sustainable use of the indigenous energy resources of Member States and led to continued cost reductions of especially the more cost-competitive technologies such as onshore wind and solar photo voltaic.”
According to the Progressive Coalition, “better exploitation of the indigenous and unlimited renewable energy resources means a decrease in imports of ever more expensive fossil fuels and lower energy bills in the longer term. To ensure a continued smooth transition to a decarbonised energy sector with a steady decrease in the energy costs, a binding renewables target for 2030 is essential. Renewable energy is not a problem, it is part of the solution to ensure a continued smooth and cost-efficient transition to a low carbon economy.”
The representatives of the Coalition also stated that alongside their strong support for renewables, they believe in a carbon market with the right price signals that could direct investments towards renewable technologies. Increased EU ambition on carbon emissions would provide a more robust price signal for all carbon abatement investment, including renewables.
The announcement of the Progressive Coalition may be seen as a counterweight to the so-called Magritte group, a coalition of ten CEO’s of European energy companies who on 11 October gave a joint press conference in Brussels in which they warned that the EU’s energy and climate policy is having a disastrous effect on the power production sector. The Magritte Group, consisting of Eon, RWE, Gasterra, Enel, GdF Suez and others, These companies spoke out against binding 2030 renewables targets.