Mercedes CEO says Europe’s gas crisis will accelerate its shift to renewables – EU
Published: 19 Aug 2014
The European Commission’s energy commissioner has said the continent’s growing energy reliance on imported gas will continue to accelerate Germany’s shift to renewables.
“The gas crisis will accelerate our transition to renewable energies,” Maros Sefcovic told the German Bundestag. “To meet this challenge, Europe is going to have to step up its game in clean energy and increase investment in renewables,” he added in response to a question on the EU’s energy transition.
The EU’s energy chief has said the continent will need to invest a further €300m in renewable energy after 2020 to meet climate protection targets, as well as a minimum of €100bn more than the bloc’s next-gen nuclear power programme, which aims to reach a 25-year capacity factor of 90%.
MEPs urged the Commission to adopt an €85bn plan to invest in renewable energy next year.
The commissioner had said the EU would need to step up its commitment to building a 25-year nuclear fleet of new nuclear power stations by 2020.
“The decision of the European Commission to adopt its nuclear 2020 strategy is the right one,” Sefcovic said. “I am pleased that we have agreed that it is absolutely necessary for us to make these investments to enable the EU 2020 strategy to be a success,” he added.
“I hope that the Commission will continue to make the investments and that the EU 2020 strategy will be a success also in the coming years,” he concluded.
The EU already has approved €150m in new funding for renewables through the new funding instrument Horizon 2020 with €7bn in new loans and grants to be announced next month.
But Sefcovic said he remained concerned that much of the EU’s investment in renewables was not being used to build on national capacity.
“The most important lesson is that we need to better align these EU support programmes with our national energy transformation plans,” he said.
“We need to change our thinking and to ask ourselves what sort of policies we need to adopt to transform the energy system,” he concluded.
The EU’s energy chief