Brussels, 18 February 2020 - In an event that highlights the contribution of renewables and smart energy solutions to the European Commission’s Green Deal policy framework, the leading associations of the energy transition – smartEn, SolarPower Europe, the Renewables Grid Initiative, and WindEurope – are hosting the first-ever emPOWER Energy Transition Summit. The event gathers policymakers, industry leaders and trailblazing innovators to explore the opportunities that renewable technologies and smart sectoral integration present.
During the event, the four organising associations are issuing a declaration that sets clear policy recommendations to boost the renewables sector and achieve the Green Deal’s climate and energy goals.
Frauke Thies, Executive Director of smartEn, said: “Successfully decarbonising our energy system will depend on increasing renewables and energy efficiency, as well as unlocking flexibility on the demand-side. It is unthinkable to scale up one without boosting the others. Every company, building and car can play an important part in providing flexibility. To make the clean energy transition a success, all should benefit from actively supporting a more variable energy system.”
Walburga Hemetsberger, CEO of SolarPower Europe, said: “It is an exciting time to work in the renewables sector, as solar has undergone an over 100% increase in the EU in the last year, with projections pointing towards renewable energy dominating the decade ahead. We believe that a 100% renewables-based energy system in Europe is possible, which would ensure a sustainable and secure future. In order to achieve this vision, it is urgent to deliver an ambitious industrial strategy for renewables, and establish the renewable sector as a strategic value chain for Europe.”
Antonella Battaglini, CEO of the Renewables Grid Initiative, said: “The energy transition will be a great opportunity for Europe if designed well and with fairness in mind. Optimised use of distributed resources and the electricity grid, the necessary sector integration, local value production while ensuring effective nature protection and stakeholder engagement – these constitute the coherent horizontal efforts necessary to allow the Green Deal to deliver a stronger and more meaningful Europe within and beyond our borders.”
Giles Dickson, CEO of WindEurope, said: “Wind energy is 15% of Europe’s electricity and provides 300,000 jobs. The EU Commission wants wind to be half of Europe’s electricity by 2050 and they envisage a 5-fold increase in wind capacity by then. This means doubling the current rate at which Europe is building wind farms. And this requires a new approach to planning and permitting and continued investment in power grids. The National Energy & Climate Plans for 2030 are a crucial first step."