The UK is set for a showdown with Europe over the proposed introduction of a new set of legally binding renewable energy targets beyond 2020.
The European Commission has today announced plans to negotiate a new package of statutory goals to increase the renewable energy contribution to the region’s energy mix.
But the UK’s Energy Secretary Ed Davey has already warned he wanted to see a focus on cutting carbon emissions rather than repeating the existing renewable energy targets that expire at the end of the decade.
“We should be moving towards outcome targets,” Cabinet Minister Davey told a Reuters’ Global Energy and Environment Summit last month. “Carbon emissions should be the key target.”
When asked whether the UK would support another target for renewable energy once the current EU renewable energy target expires at the end of the decade, he said his preference would be for “outcome targets”, such as a new goal on carbon cutting, rather than setting another target for renewables.
“While we think the renewables target for 2020 is a very good target and we believe we are on track to meet it, in terms of another renewables target, we have to think about what we are trying to achieve here,” he said.
However, the European Commission today said new targets were needed for 2030 to provide regulatory certainty to support investor confidence.
And the Commission stressed that it is crucial to identify 2030 milestones as soon as possible to enable renewable energy producers to be increasingly competitive players in the European energy market.