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Efficiency, renewables make Europe competitive

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Staff writer ▼ | January 22, 2014
European industry has maintained its global market position thanks to relatively low energy intensity levels and high renewables penetration, according to a study into the continent's competitiveness due to be released by the European Commission as part of its clean energy package.
Europe wind energy
Europe wind energyEuropean industry has maintained its global market position thanks to relatively low energy intensity levels and high renewables penetration, according to a study into the continent's competitiveness due to be released by the European Commission as part of its clean energy package.


Renewable energies "help reduce fuel import costs and contribute to improving the energy trade balance,"” says the report by the EU's economic and financial affairs directorate (DG Ecfin), which EurActiv has seen.

Energies derived from replenishable sources such as the wind and sun also "provide opportunities in terms of industrial equipment and trade flows," and "contribute to reducing our energy dependence," the paper says. In 2010, renewable energy used in electricity generation avoided €10.2 billion of imported fuel costs, €2.2bn of which came from wind alone.

Overall, renewables covered almost the entirety of expenditure from support schemes, and avoided €30 billion of fuel imports that year. But such savings were "still too low", the report says, apparently indicating a need for further renewable energy deployment.

A 2030 climate and energy package to be released is expected to aim at a 27% share of the energy market for renewables by 2030. But this will not be binding on member states, and is in line with business-as-usual trends. The proposal appears at odds with a widely leaked version of the impact assessment accompanying the 2030 package which found that ambitious renewables and energy efficiency targets could create half a million jobs in Europe.


 

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