EU's newly launched RE plan risking being shipwrecked 

By Maj-Britt Meyer Hansen, 4. October 2007

The EU Heads of State have decided that 20 percent of the EU's energy consumption must come from renewable energy in 2020. However, according to a joint analysis by the Ecological Council and the Danish Energy Association, the EU is risking turning an otherwise thoroughly sensible decision into a self-defeating proposition if this target is implemented in the real world using national requirements for renewable energy capacity construction in each individual country.

The Ecological Council and the Danish Energy Association completely support the EU's efforts concerning renewable energy. What is important is that the decision now be implemented in the safest and most efficient manner, namely as a national purchasing obligation. The two organisations thus agree that a good and inexpensive manner by which to achieve the objective would be for the energy suppliers in the EU to be subject to an obligation to sell an increasing quantity of green power. The two organisations are proposing that these percentages be adjusted upwards each year until the EU goal is reached.

In addition, there should be a green certificate for every single kilowatt hour of green power that is produced and sold to consumers. This renders it impossible to cheat the system.

The proposal being made by the two organisations means that the renewable energy capacity would be built precisely where the most renewable energy can be obtained for the least amount of money invested. A Danish consumer would thus not receive green power solely from a wind turbine in Denmark. But rather also from wind turbines or other renewable energy sources in, for example, Germany or Sweden.

- If the EU chooses an incorrect implementation of the requirement for 20 percent renewable energy, their excellent initiative will result in absolutely nothing, says Søren Dyck-Madsen of the Ecological Council.

- What matters is to get the most possible renewable energy for the money spent. Our proposal is the most sensible way to achieve that, says Senior Consultant Ulrich Bang of the Danish Energy Association.


  • Chief Consultant, M.A. (Tech.Soc.)
  • Ulrich Bang
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