A draft of the European Union’s plans for wind and solar energy has been leaked, revealing EU intentions to quickly build wind turbines and solar terminals throughout member states.
The leaked documents were intended for delivery to the European Commission by midnight on Wednesday, but the deadline was missed by many and the plans were kept under wraps until Reuters managed to get its hands on them, revealing substantial plans for renewable energy.
Italy is to increase its on-shore wind farm capacity by 230 percent, Ireland by 130 percent, Spain by 74 percent, and Germany by 30 percent.
There are also plans to begin off-shore wind energy generation, with Germany taking the lead with plans to increase generation from zero megawatts to 10,000 megawatts. Spain follows with 3,000 megawatts, then Ireland with 2,300 megawatts, and Italy with 1,000 megawatts.
The off-shore plans are completely new and will present big challenges, since no infrastructure is in place to achieve these goals. Justin Wilkes, policy director of the European Wind Energy Association, revealed the potential problems to Reuters: “For offshore wind we will need significant investments in infrastructure, such as grids, harbors and vessels that can accommodate and transport machines the size of offshore wind turbines across the sea.”
Solar energy is also a big focus for the EU. Italy and Germany are planning a 500 and 300 percent increase in solar power capacity respectively. Spain, the second-largest solar energy generator in the world, is planning a 189 percent increase.
This will cost a lot of money, however, which will be a difficult thing to sell to people suffering from budget cuts. It is likely the EU will give subsidies and grants to encourage governments to spend in this area, but it will also pressure them on the 2020 deadline for delivering significant increases in renewable energy as part of the National Renewable Energy Action Plan.
Solarbuzz recently reported that solar power installations, like a new line from Evergreen Solar, will double this year compared to last year, revealing that people are willing to invest in environmental energy projects again. Whether or not European governments will follow this trend remains to be seen, but the leaked documents suggest the EU is taking this matter very seriously.