Regional co-operation could expand EU ambition on renewables

14 October, Brussels – A new report, commissioned by the Heinrich Böll Foundation, has outlined how ‘bottom up’ co-operation via regional groupings could be a key driver to getting more renewables into the EU energy mix, and make up for the EU’s “lamentable lack of ambition” with regard to renewables.

Produced by consultancy firm Ecofys, the report highlights practical ways in which the EU could stimulate cross-border renewables co-operation. Ecofys proposes that the Commission could offer guidance on how regional groups should be composed, or require member states to achieve a certain percentage of the 27% EU wide renewables target through joint projects.

To date, member states have almost exclusively developed renewable energy capacity independently, with limited public backing for cross-border initiatives in the energy sector. Ecofys predicts that regional collaborations, particularly at sub-national level, could help to build public acceptance, and therefore be a trigger for more elaborate international co-operation in the future.

Better co-ordination on renewables in Europe would be hugely advantageous, with the report claiming that incorrectly located installations have already resulted in more than €40 billion of unnecessary investments.  

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