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Industry divided over EU initiatives to meet targets on renewable energy

A poll recently conducted by Renewable Energy World Europe shows that the industry remains divided as to whether the EU can achieve its 20-20-20 targets and generate 20% of its total energy from renewables by 2020. Drawn from some of the world’s largest utility and energy firms, 44% of the experts surveyed believe the EU will fail to meet its targets, while controversially, a further 44% of respondents say that it is too early to tell.

The survey confirmed that continued technical innovation is viewed as the most important factor in the development of renewables in Europe, with over 60% of participants highlighting its importance. Emerging technologies like wave and tidal energy systems have the capacity to rival wind power as a key source for renewable energy, the respondents conclude. For example, the UK’s Carbon Trust estimates that the country could achieve 15% of its electricity needs by harnessing wave power alone. Not surprising then that 56% of participants agreed that wave power will play a significant role in the future of European renewables. However, those surveyed suggest that there could be a fly in the ointment, due to reluctance amongst governments to invest in developing wave power commercially, considering it to be a ‘high risk’ technology.

David Appleyard, conference director for Renewable Energy World Europe, commented: ‘The survey underlines the importance of innovation, yet many of the EU member countries are struggling to meet their targets due to their lack of investment in renewables. There needs to be a greater commitment to the development and installation of renewables across Europe, and with more investment, the EU could smash its 2020 targets.’

The results of the survey were announced ahead of Renewable Energy World Europe 2011, which is being held at Fiera Milano City in Milan, from 7-9 June. Visitors to the event will also be able to access to Europe’s leading energy exhibitions, POWER-GEN Europe 2011, and Nuclear Power Europe 2011, which are co-located with Renewable Energy World Europe. In addition, all three events will be complemented by a comprehensive conference programme, providing participants with a deeper understanding of a wide range of industry issues.

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