Wind industry says could supply 25 percent of EU electricity by 2030

Source: By Susanna Twidale, Reuters • Posted: Monday, September 21, 2015

Wind turbines are pictured in RWE Offshore-Windpark Nordsee Ost in the North sea, 30 km from Helgoland, Germany, May 11, 2015. REUTERS/Christian Charisius/Pool

Wind farms could supply a quarter of the European Union’s electricity needs by 2030 if member states come good on energy and climate pledges, an industry report said on Wednesday.

Wind energy provides around 10 percent of the bloc’s electricity but lobby group, the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) said it expects wind capacity could reach 320 gigawatts over the next 15 years, making a near 25 percent contribution to overall electricity supply.

“The forecasts are contingent on a number of factors on the political and regulatory front including a clear governance structure,” the report said.

The 28 member states last October agreed on a framework for energy and climate goals, but to make it easier to get a deal, the decision went only as far as a framework.

The 2030 agreement includes cutting greenhouse gases by at least 40 percent versus 1990 and raising the share of renewable energy to at least 27 percent from 20 percent by 2020.

So far, the 2030 renewable goal is binding only at EU-wide level and the challenge is to ensure it is met as the bloc as a whole cannot be fined for infringement.

Germany which generates more than a quarter of its electricity from renewable sources wants a binding law but other countries such as Britain, which is trying to develop new nuclear projects, thinks countries should be able to choose what technology they use to meet climate goals.

“The regulatory framework is a key driver… If policy makers get it right, the wind sector could grow even more. If they don’t, we will fall short to the detriment of investments, employment and climate protection,” said Kristian Ruby, chief policy officer at EWEA.

EWEA said installing the extra windfarms across Europe could generate up to 334,000 direct and indirect jobs across the bloc.