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If properly implemented, this Directive will become the most ambitious piece of legislation on renewable energy in the world. In order to reach the binding overall 20 per cent target outlined in the RES Directive, the development of all existing renewable energy sources as well as a balanced and integrated mix of deployment in the sectors of heating and cooling, electricity and transport is needed. This book, Renewable Energy in Europe, is targeted towards policy makers at all levels, European, national, local and global.
It gives clear, objective and reliable information on the role and potential of RES in the fields of heating and cooling, electricity and biofuels for transport as well as on the policy requirements to exploit the full potential of renewable energy in these three areas. During recent years, the European Union (EU) has put considerable effort into creating a favourable political framework for RES, thereby contributing to the security of energy supply and to climate protection as well as to strengthening the EU RES industry, one of the fastest growing sectors in Europe, which in 2009 employed more than 450,000 people and generated an annual turnover surpassing r45 billion.
In order to keep the leadership of the European RES industry, a strong home market with stable framework conditions is necessary. To ensure this, a rapid transposition into national law of the RES Directive is crucial. The European Union needs to continue to play a leading role in the field of renewable energy and be a vital driver towards a remodeling of our energy system based on RES and energy efficiency.
Investment decisions in new energy enerating capacity taken today will have an impact on Europe’s energy mix for the next 40 years. Europe should lead the way with a clear commitment to a 100 per cent renewable energy future by 2050. This is not only technologically feasible, but also the only really sustainable alternative both in economic, security of supply and environmental terms. The analysis of investment patterns in new electricity generating capacity confi rm that renewable energy technologies accounted for 61 per cent of new power generating capacity in 2009 (mainly wind and photovoltaic), an increase on the 2008 share of 57 per cent.
Europe is on a promising track, however we need to continue and speed up the needed transformation of our energy system through continuous and stable commitments and policy frameworks, particularly in these economically challenging times. Especially in times of fi nancial turmoil it becomes clear that the promotion of RES is the most successful programme for a sustainable economic recovery.