8 EU member nations have written to the EC to look to renewables as solar and wind to address the economic and social consequences of the pandemic. The initiative is led by Lithuania. (Photo Credit: Government of the Republic of Lithuania)
- EC has been approached by 8 countries to give priority to renewable energy technologies in its scheme of things to help Europe deal with the challenges of COVID-19 for the economy
- They demand domestic production of solar, wind and storage technologies within Europe to be included among the most important value chains for the development of Europe
- Local production will help the region reduce its dependence on competitors from other countries and give the economy a boost
- They demand EC to include these technologies in the distribution of EU investment from both existing and future EU funds as well as direct state aid mechanism towards promoting these
The European Commission (EC) has been approached by a group of 8 member nations of the European Union (EU) to give priority attention to renewable energy technologies, mainly solar and wind along with storage, to be included into the strategic value chain of the EU. This, the countries claim, is necessary to not only address the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic but also to give a boost to the EU economy.
An initiative led by Lithuania and supported by Austria, Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Luxembourg, Poland and Spain, the proposal calls for solar and wind technologies to be included among the most important value chains for the development of Europe. These nations pitch for domestic production of renewable energy components within Europe and for solar they suggest focus should be on the production of high-quality solar modules as well as the integration of solar energy into industry.
“We suggest that solar and wind technologies are included among the most important value chains for the development of Europe and that investment in them should be increased by creating a competitive and high value-added green energy industry. This would allow us to reduce our dependence on our competitors and take a leading position in the global competition,” said the Lithuanian Minister of Energy Žygimantas Vaičiūnas referring to the letter the 8 EU nations have sent to the EU Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton and Kadri Simson, EU Commissioner for Energy.
The EC has also been advised to grant a priority to renewable energy technologies in the distribution of EU investment from both existing and future EU funds and the state aid mechanism to be directed towards promoting these.
The letter lays down the business case for renewables playing a key role for the region to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, as laid down in the European Green Deal. Investment in wind and solar energy alone in the EU will make up €2 trillion ($2.17 trillion) in the next 30 years, they point out want EU Industrial Strategy to reflect these technologies in its plan of action in due time.
Another recommendation is for the commission to establish a Renewable Energy Industry Alliance with representatives from the industry.
Representatives from the industry speaking during the 1st World CleanTech Week eConvention last month stressed on the pandemic’s impact on the European solar market to be an opportunity to develop large-scale local manufacturing. Former Director of Fraunhofer ISE and ESMC President, Eicke Weber said the region needs 10 GW to 15 GW of PV production capacity (see European Solar Industry Looking Beyond Pandemic).
On April 12, European solar sector association SolarPower Europe (SPE) announced a Solar Manufacturing Accelerator platform to support solar manufacturing projects by identifying partners and financial investors. The objective behind launching the platform is to increase the number of solar PV manufacturing projects in Europe ‘contributing to the success of the European Green Deal’ (see SPE Launches Solar Manufacturing Accelerator).