THE 21st CENTURY BATTLE FOR ENERGY
Christian Kjaer, CEO of the European Wind Energy Association discusses the current state of the industry and puts forward his blueprint for the future…
In March this year, 27 EU Heads of State unanimously agreed that 20% of our energy consumption must come from renewable energy sources by 2020. This action signals that decision-makers of Europe now understand the urgency of the looming energy and climate crisis. Now the ambitions must be turned into fast and effective legislation and implementation. A progressive and ambitious legal framework would effectively turn the challenges of high fuel prices, increased imports and climate change into tremendous opportunities for European economies, businesses and citizens.
The electricity sector represents over one third of total EU energy demand. This means that 14 years from now more than one third of the power we consume will come from renewable energy sources such as wind power if we are to reach the target. This share is up from 15% today. Excluding large hydro, for which there is little scope for expansion, the share of electricity produced from renewable energy sources will have to increase fivefold.
Wind power is one of several renewable energy sources that will deliver us on the path towards energy independence, and it is leading the way. Currently wind energy supplies 3% of EU electricity. If the Spring Council decision is followed up by fast and effective legislation, wind power will meet 12 to 16% of Europe’s power demand in 2020.