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The priorities of Friends of Renewables

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The Friends of Renewables meeting brought together 13 countries (Austria, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain) at the initiative of Austria.

The Austrian energy minister, Leonore Gewessler, celebrated the fact that her country produces 87% of its electricity from renewable sources. “It is also the solution that we are proposing for Europe, that we want to move forward in Europe, and this alliance is a very important part of our work”, she emphasised.

In their message to the European Commission they declared that the Commission’s impact assessment clearly shows that the vast majority of this decarbonisation will have to be achieved by renewable energies. In the most ambitious scenario leading to 90% GHG reduction, renewables will have to correspond to up to three quarters of the Union’s gross final energy consumption and to 90% of electricity consumption in 2040. This translates into more than 2,000 GW installed generation capacity of renewable energies across the Union by 2040 and a significant increase of flexibility technologies, such as storage, dispatchable generation and flexible demand.

These changes require a clear investment framework to attract and coordinate private and public investments. Moreover, there is also a need to unlock the significant potential of renewable energy sources for the decarbonisation of Europe’s largest energy-consuming sectors, including heating and cooling, while also unleashing the potential of offshore renewable energies.

Electrification (either direct or indirect) based on large shares of renewable energies is key for Europe’s prosperity and economic growth. Renewables will not only drive down emissions, but will also reduce electricity generation costs, provide Europe with the opportunity of technological leadership and contribute to European energy independence. Renewables will also allow to moveaway from fossil fuels, renewables will become the key driver for cost-efficient decarbonisation,ensuring the competitiveness of the European economy and energy security. Electrification will be one of the cornerstones of the progression towards climate neutrality, significantly increasing its share of EU final energy consumption in 2040. We also need to use appropriately the potential of biomethane,renewable gases and other renewable sources.

In a press release, the members stated that, as part of the climate objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 90% by 2040, renewable energy sources will account for up to 75% of the Union’s gross final energy consumption and 90% of electricity consumption in 2040, involving more than 2,000 GW of installed generation capacity.

When asked about technology neutrality at EU level and the investment that other Member States are seeking in nuclear energy, German State Secretary Sven Giegold said that he currently saw “more paperwork on nuclear energy than actual investment. So we need to act where there is a new competitive energy source, and that clearly means renewable energy on a global scale”.

The Friends of Renewables are calling for a clear investment framework to attract and coordinate private and public investment, and a number of policy measures from the Commission to further accelerate the deployment of renewables and the flexibility of the energy system, with a focus on network infrastructure.

EU Briefs publie des articles provenant de diverses sources extérieures qui expriment un large éventail de points de vue. Les positions prises dans ces articles ne sont pas nécessairement celles d'EU Briefs.

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