13 Jun 2018, 00:00
Sven Egenter

Clear steps must underpin EU renewables goal - German energy minister

Increasing the EU's renewable energy target without a clear idea on how to achieve it would undermine political credibility, according to German energy minister Peter Altmaier.

More ambitious goals for the deployment of renewable energies in the European Union must be underpinned by clear and verifiable measures, Germany’s energy minister Peter Altmaier told energy managers at the BDEW utility association's annual conference in Berlin.

“The interesting thing is that the debate we had on Monday in Luxemburg was characterised by many saying: 'Let’s have higher goals but with a lower degree of reliability and a lower degree of measures,'” Altmaier said in a speech that focused largely on the status of the German energy transition.

“That’s exactly what I think leads to citizens’ dismay with politics, if you define targets, which are not underpinned, which cannot be controlled, without legal liability,” he added.

Altmaier had rejected calls to increase the EU’s renewables target to a 33-35 percent share by 2030 at the energy ministers’ meeting in Luxemburg on 11 June.

Altmaier said the EU parliament’s call for 35 percent was a typical move for parliamentarians to show that the Commission’s proposal could not be the final word.

“We are now in a productive discussion and I hope that we can get a concrete, good and balanced result with the European Parliament today or tomorrow,” Altmaier said.

He added that Germany had reached a 15 percent renewable share in energy consumption “with a lot of money” over the past 20 years. “Now we are talking about an offer – and I have always said it is a first offer for the decisive phase of the dialogue – of 30 percent by 2030. This means that we would have to again achieve in 10 years what we achieved in 20, and that’s not underpinned with concrete measures and we have to tackle that. But our credibility depends on us achieving our targets,” he said.

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