Prior to the recent European Summit, the Austrian Government seemed to question the Austrian national objective of 34 % of renewable energy share in final energy consumption by 2020 and put at question the agreement on the RES Directive reached by the Council, the European Parliament and the European Commission.
As one of the most dynamic and rapidly growing European industry sectors with an annual turnover of more than 40 billion Euro and more than 400,000 employees, many of them in Austria, the European Renewable Energy Industry urged the Austrian government not to block an approval of the most ambitious piece of legislation on renewable energy in the world.
“I cannot understand the position of the Austrian Government to question the national target of 34 % of renewable energy share in final energy consumption at this point in time when the negotiations on the Renewable Energy Directive are finalized. The binding national renewable energy objectives are on the table since nearly a year and all other EU Member States have given their agreement. It is unimaginable that Austria is blocking this “new green deal” for Europe, said Christine Lins, Secretary General of EREC.
This country’s position was even more surprising in view of the fact that the previous Austrian coalition announced a target of 45% it its coalition agreement. Furthermore, the Austrian Renewable Energy Associations recently launched a position paper indicating that a 34% renewable energy share in final energy consumption is easily reachable and that the industry can effectively deliver much more than 34%.
The European and Austrian Renewable Energy Industry urged the Austrian Government not to block a swift adoption of the energy and climate package which is now more than ever a necessity and an opportunity for Austria and for the EU as a whole.
“It is unacceptable that Austria is questioning the closed deal between the Council, the European Parliament and the European Commission. Austria was always a forerunner-country for renewable energy deployment, the current attitude of the Austrian Government risks to undermine the future renewable energy policy of the whole European Union and puts the growth of the most prosperous economic sector of Europe at risk. We have negotiated long enough, now it is time to take action and to adopt the Renewable Energy Directive which will create many economic opportunities for all EU Member States”, added Lins.