Thursday, June 13, 2024

MEPs Call for Quick Deployment of Offshore Renewables to Meet EU Emission Targets

Members of the European Parliament set out their recommendations on how to deploy offshore wind energy in Europe more quickly, as a means to contribute to the EU’s targets on reducing greenhouse emissions, in a report adopted on February 16.

The report, voted on by MEPs in response to a European Commission communication, was adopted with 518 votes to 88, with 85 abstentions. The report stresses that meeting the 2030 and 2050 targets requires faster deployment of offshore renewable energy (ORE), but maritime space and coasts must be managed more sustainably, the European Parliament said.

MEPs noted that a net-zero emissions economy requires renewable energy to be deployed on an unprecedented scale, and stress the urgency of improving and expanding existing infrastructure. Many member states are lagging behind in the necessary switch to renewables.

“The offshore renewable energy strategy is key to the green transition, where time is of the essence. We need lots of green electricity to fulfil our climate objectives and the offshore renewable energy strategy is absolutely essential in this regard,” said lead MEP Morten Petersen from Denmark. “Today’s vote shows that we all understand the urgency of the matter and that we are putting offshore renewable energy front and centre in the fight against climate change. We need to introduce time limits, and remove the many barriers that are still standing in the way of a fast and successful integration of renewables in Europe,” Petersen added.

EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson stressed that decarbonizing the EU’s energy system is essential for the future. “We have a vision to reach our goals and offshore energy plays a big part in that,” she tweeted after the debate on EU strategy for offshore renewable energy.

Highlighting the importance of shortening procedures to get a permit, MEPs called on the member states to set up a transparent process and consider introducing time limits for issuing permits where necessary.

MEPs stressed that the EU is a technological leader in the ORE production sector and could expect a significant economic boost by supporting the growth of clean energy production. The NextGenerationEU recovery fund provides a unique opportunity to mobilise capital in addition to private investments, they said.

Offshore wind farms can benefit marine biodiversity if designed and built sustainably, MEPs said, but noted that they must coexist alongside other activities, such as fishing and maritime transport. They stressed that work needs to be done in order for the public to accept offshore wind and to convince citizens that renewable energy is key to achieving energy independence and security of supply.

It is crucial to design, develop and deploy renewable offshore energy in a circular and renewable way, as substantial amounts of metals and minerals are needed, MEPs said, calling for an EU-wide landfill ban on decommissioned wind turbine blades by 2025.

First appeared in New Europe. Republished with author’s permission.

Author profile
Kostis Geropoulos

Kostis is Co-founder / Director of Energy & Climate Policy and Security at NE Global Media. Follow him @energyinsider for deep analysis of Energy, Europe and Global Affairs.

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