A comprehensive, pro-renewables EU energy policy featuring binding 2030 targets is urgently needed, according to a report issued by a group of UK politicians. The policy should prioritise much greater grid interconnection between EU member states and deliver the stability necessary to attract institutional investors.
A 40% renewable energy consumption target by 2030 is recommended. The report also argues that the renewable sector's intermittent output can be managed and should not be viewed as a barrier to the installation of more intermittent capacity.
Entitled No Country is an Energy Island: Securing Investment for the EU’s Future, the report's conclusions largely support the interests of the European offshore wind industry and those campaigning for an EU ‘supergrid’. It is the work of the UK House of Lords EU Sub-Committee for Agriculture, Fisheries, Environment & Energy.
The need to ensure sufficient gas supply is acknowledged by the report, but the committee views gas as a "transitional fuel", warning against EU member states becoming excessively reliant on capacity mechanisms, which are designed to encourage gas. Such mechanisms risk increasing the cost of electricity and "locking-in" dependence on fossil fuel. Security of supply should also be achieved through greater girdinterconnection and demand-side management.
Organisations participating in the evidence sessions that informed the report included companies active in the offshore wind sector, included: high-voltage cable manufacturer, ABB, UK network operator, National Grid; as well as utilities E.ON, Scottish Power and SSE.