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22 November 2010

Clean energy - stop the talking, start investing

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The European Renewable Energy Council (EREC) has criticised the European Commission for preferring low-carbon rhetoric to action. It wants a clear focus on renewable energy to extend Europe's technological leadership in the sector

EREC president, Professor Arthouros Zervos comments, "We support the EC's proposed actions relevant to renewable energy, such as grid infrastructure, energy markets and smart cities. But instead of an undefined low-carbon rhetoric the EU needs a stable framework for renewable energy leading up to 2030 and a clear vision for achieving 100% renewable energy by 2050. The successful development of renewable energy in the current energy system relies on the ability of EU member states to design stable, adequate support mechanisms to compensate for market distortions in order to reach their binding 2020 targets."

EREC is the umbrella organisation of the European renewable energy industry, trade and research associations active in the sectors of photovoltaics, small hydropower, solar thermal, bioenergy, geothermal, ocean, concentrated solar power and wind energy, The European renewable energy sector has an annual turnover of EUR 70 billion and employs 550.000 people. Professor Zervos explains the international importance of European companies, " European companies are world leaders in renewable energy, generating hundreds of thousands of new jobs, and EU energy policies need to ensure the continued growth of this important sector in order for us to maintain our leadership."

The Global Climate Network (GCN), an alliance of think tanks, says that spending on clean energy projects in developing countries needs to double, which will only happen if richer countries give financial help to encourage private companies to invest.

Their new study, 'Investing in Clean Energy', examines in detail the costs of large increases in clean energy projects in four developing countries. It argues that investment in clean energy must grow from $34 billion in 2009 to an average of $63.6 billion a year between 2010 and 2020 if existing ambitions to meet climate change and energy supply targets are to be met. The report says that investment in clean energy, particularly wind and solar, is critical if developing countries are to maintain economic growth and bring power to poor communities.


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