The European Commission urged to promote renewable energy industry in the EU

Date

2020 05 07

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At the initiative of Lithuania, eight European Union (EU) Member States approached the European Commission with a proposal to pay a priority attention to the renewable energy industry. This is necessary not only to address the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic but also to give a boost to the EU economy. Lithuania’s initiative was also supported by Austria, Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Luxembourg, Poland and Spain.

“It is necessary for the EU to adopt a strategic approach to renewable energy not only because of the most ambitious goals that the world pursues in the fight against climate change but also because it is a source of economic recovery for our economy. Now is the right time for the EU to reclaim its technological initiative and the renewable energy industry. We suggest that solar and wind technologies are included among the most important value chains for the development of Europe and that investment in them should be increased by creating a competitive and high value-added green energy industry. This would allow us to reduce our dependence on our competitors and take a leading position in the global competition,” points out the Minister of Energy Žygimantas Vaičiūnas.

A letter was sent to Thierry Breton, EU Commissioner for the Internal Market, and Kadri Simson, EU Commissioner for Energy.

In a letter the ministers of the countries emphasized that the EU needs to take concrete actions to achieve the objectives of the European Green Deal and the Industrial Strategy, with a special focus on the development and use of advanced technologies. It is also emphasized that renewable energy will play a key role in achieving climate neutrality by 2050. Investment in wind and solar energy alone in the EU will make up two trillion euros in the coming 30 years.

 

It is highlighted that is necessary to ensure the production of renewable energy components within Europe to achieve not only the said climate goals but also to create significant economic benefits for EU citizens. It is therefore proposed that the energy production and storage technologies of the two main renewable energy sources – solar and wind – should be included into the strategic value chain of the EU.

 

Regarding wind energy, the EU should speed up the development of offshore wind potential. The EU must become a global leader in the development of high value-added floating offshore wind power plants. It is necessary to develop these technologies to reach the target of 450 GW of offshore wind power by 2050. Speaking about the solar energy industry, the EU should focus on the production of high-quality solar modules as well as the integration of solar energy into industry.

 

The EC is urged to set up a Renewable Energy Industry Alliance and involve renewable energy representatives in the industry forum.  Specific measures have been proposed, including a measure to grant a priority to renewable energy technologies in the distribution of EU investment from both existing and future EU funds. The state aid mechanism must also be directed towards promoting the development of renewable energy technologies.

According to Mr Vaičiūnas, EU countries seek that renewable energy would be adequately reflected in EU Industrial Strategy in due time.

Lithuania’s National Energy Independence Strategy provides that in 2030 electricity generated from renewable sources would amount to 45%, with wind energy accounting for the majority – at least 53% and solar energy – 22%. According to one of the four strategic directions in the strategy, Lithuania should progress from energy importing country to become an energy technology developing and exporting country.