Offshore wind energy is a “no-regrets” option for green growth, job creation and de-carbonization, ministers and delegates heard at the opening session of EWEA OFFSHORE 2013 in Frankfurt.
But the energy projects coming online today will run for 30 years, so to ensure the right choices are made, a binding renewables target for 2030 needs to be put in place today, CEO of DONG Energy and conference chair Henrik Poulsen said.
“It has been the binding targets and not the malfunctioning ETS that has been the key driver for renewable investments in the 2020 package,” he stated.
EWEA CEO Thomas Becker, who opened the conference, warned that changes to market and regulatory frameworks in a range of EU countries were putting investment in the sector at risk.
“Even in forward-thinking Germany, there is now a question mark raised over the support for offshore wind,” Becker said. “Likewise, a lack of political commitment and discussions on electricity market reform in another major market, the UK, are blurring long-term visibility. This is hampering investment decisions. There is an urgent need for policy stability, for political certainty and market clarity, for the direction and drive a 2030 binding target for renewables set at EU level would give.”
In November, CEOs of eight companies representing 176,000 jobs and over EUR250 billion ($336 billion) annual turnover sent out a statement calling for a “stand-alone, stable and predictable 2030 framework with an ambitious binding renewables target alongside an ambitious binding greenhouse gas reduction target and a robust CO2 price”. They said this would reduce costs, help Europe’s competitiveness, bring down energy and electricity bills, and “help remove the need for renewable energy support in future.”
Speakers in the panel at EWEA OFFSHORE 2013 were the secretaries of state for energy from Sweden and Belgium, the European Commission Director-General for Climate Action, the CEO of the Vestas-MHI Offshore Joint Venture, and the Senior Vice President of Alstom Wind.