The European Commission (EC) White Paper on Renewable Energy Sources sets out a comprehensive strategy and action plan to achieve the ambitious goal of doubling the renewables’ share of the European Union’s total energy supply, from 6 per cent to 12 per cent, by 2010.
The strategy’s main features are:
The increased use of energy produced from renewable energy sources also constitutes an important part of the measures needed to comply with the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
A Campaign for Take Off, targeting the key renewable energy sectors, represents a key element of the strategy and action plan outlined in the White Paper.
A goal of the campaign is the identification of 100 communities aiming to meet 100 per cent of their energy needs from renewables. This has caused considerable interest. As part of this initiative, a number of appropriate pilot communities, regions, cities and islands have been identified.
The campaign also aims to encourage ‘renewable energy partnerships’ between the EC and public and private bodies that wish to demonstrate their commitment to the campaign. More than 80 partnerships have already been signed with the Commission. Renewable energy partners include national and regional authorities, municipalities, EU-wide organisations and industry.
In order to reach the 12 per cent aspiration set out in the White Paper, and underlined in the Commission’s Green Paper on Energy Security of Supply, a series of legislative proposals have been made. The Commission has implemented several directives as part of its renewables policy, which include:
Contribution in 1995
Contribution in 2010
heat (incl. heat pumps)
Solar thermal collectors
6.5 million m2
100 million m2