Mandatory renewable generation targets are likely to be introduced across the EU after the European Parliament voted to strongly support renewables by adopting a report on the share of renewables in the EU and proposals for concrete action.

The report supports an increased deployment of renewable energy sources, calling for an increase of the share of energy from renewables to 20 % by 2020 from a level of 6% in 2001.

The report states that renewables will play a major role in the energy mix of the European Union, if appropriate framework conditions are in place. It stresses, however, that the EU power market is “still suffering from a number of serious distortions,” including large direct and indirect subsidies for fossil fuels and nuclear power, lack of internalisation of external costs and unbalanced funding for R&D for renewable energy technology.

The European Parliament key recommendations include:a 20% binding target for renewable energies in total energy consumption by 2020, tax cuts to encourage renewables, fair market conditions for electricity produced from renewables and an end to distortions in the energy market. The Parliament also recommends a clear increase in the R&D budget for renewables in the upcoming FP7 to compensate the historical bias in EU energy research programmes. The report on the share of renewable energy in the EU and proposals for concrete actions came from the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy.