The International Energy Agency has raised the alarm over the non-binding nature of a 27% renewable energy target for 2030 while also calling for a clear and stable framework. According to the IEA's Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report, the absence of a binding target raises questions about how effective the overall target can be as member states would be able to define their commitment to renewables voluntarily. The report adds that the framework overseeing these commitments lacks detail.
Justin Wilkes, deputy chief executive officer of the European Wind Energy Association, said: "The IEA report hits the nail on the head when it comes to ambitious national targets for 2030. Not only is a 27% target too low but it doesn't oblige member states to follow through. Europe's Heads of State need to agree in October on a binding 30% renewables target if real progress is going to be made to improve Europe's energy security, competitiveness and climate objectives."
The report also recognised that binding national targets and National Renewable Energy Action Plans for 2020 have been key drivers in cost reduction and the mass deployment of renewables, particularly onshore wind. However, it highlights that challenges remain for EU member states to meet their commitments.
The IEA expects installed wind capacity to reach 162.9GW by 2018 based on data for European members of the Organisation for Cooperation and Development. The new figure shows a marginal increase of 2.4GW in the forecast from last year's report.
Wilkes stressed the need for policymakers to provide more forward guidance for the industry to spur further investment. He said: "It's imperative that national governments resist making abrupt changes to support mechanisms that can blindside investors and deter financing of wind power projects. Political and regulatory risk is reflected in the cost of capital and a stable framework can go a long way to eliminating these risk premiums."