Policies governing the European Union’s drive towards a low- carbon economy should not lose sight of the need to retain the bloc’s industrial base, Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said in a newspaper column on Monday.
Oettinger, a German national, echoed rising concern about runaway power prices in his home country, where subsidising of fast-expanding green power is burdening industrial and household consumers.
“Europe should think about adding a fourth goal to the three 20-20-20 energy-related ones up to the year 2020,” Oettinger wrote in the business daily Handelsblatt.
The bloc’s goals are a planned 20 percent hike in energy efficiency, a 20 percent cut in CO2 emissions and reaching a 20 percent share of renewables in energy usage by 2020.
“(Europe) … should make (another) permanent goal a 20 percent industrial contribution to gross domestic product (by 2020),” Oettinger said.
This share had sunk to 18 percent in 2010 from around 22 percent in 2000. “We need a strategy for the re-industrialisation of Europe,” he said.