Cost barriers to stop EU hitting 2020 renewables target

By Laurence Gibbons

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Renewable energy Wind power

The UK should receive more political support for offshore wind expansion: Sherrard
The UK should receive more political support for offshore wind expansion: Sherrard
Cost barriers are likely to stop the EU reaching its 20% renewable energy targets by 2020, warns a new report from Rabobank.

Its analyst Justin Sherrard said: “A failure to meet the 2020 targets is a result of a number of barriers to renewable energy investment and development, which include the cost of capital, delayed infrastructure investments and disruptive policy adjustments.”

The EU acknowledged for the first time last month that its 20% renewable energy target may not be ready by 2020.

The UK’s ability to meet its renewable energy target depends on greater political support, said Sherrard.

Tripled its renewable electricity share

The UK has almost tripled its renewable electricity share from 4% in 2005 to 11.3%, last year. This was mainly driven by offshore wind expansion, said Rabobank.

A separate low carbon dioxide system, with a floor price for carbon set well above the current market prices, is positive for continuing renewables development, said Sherrard.

He therefore estimated that the UK was likely to continue expanding offshore wind, even though utilities were cautious, and it would need to be encouraged to keep investing.

The Netherlands, on the other hand, would fail to meet its target, because it had “barely started”​ its transition to renewable electricity, said Sherrard.

Germany had “taken big steps with renewables in recent years” ​and would meet the target, Rabobank said.

Its policy was centred on solar panels and solar expansion, which contributed significantly to lower global costs for the technology through scale and technology advances.

The rapid growth of renewables in Germany could be slowed, either by some form of cap on renewable subsidies or by the practical reality of delivering offshore wind projects, said Sherrard.

Cost savings

Meanwhile, box manufacturer eCorrugated claimed the search for cost savings was driving firms to use its lighter weight 100% recycled board.

eCorrugated had produced research based on 6,000 product specifications showing that greater efficiencies could offset price rises of up to 12%.

Andrew Carver, director of eCorrugated, said: “Price rises are coming at a time when it is harder for this extra cost to be passed on to customers. While not totally desirable, these rises will have the positive effective of accelerating the sector’s move towards embracing greater efficiencies.”

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