At the Spring European Council in Brussels, 2007 governments from across Europe agreed to set a binding target of obtaining 20% of their energy from renewable sources by 2020. At the time only 6.5% of energy was being sourced from renewables. However it seems European countries will not be able to meet this goal due to nothing more than than an error in how the European Parliament defined solar energy technology that would count towards this goal.
Europe’s Renewable Energy Directive denied the inclusion of solar air heating from a list of solar technologies that would have counted towards meeting the European 20% renewable energy target goal. Unfortunately this has had a considerable impact as solar technologies like photovoltaics and solar water heaters cost more and produce less energy when compared with solar air heaters.
This decision is being criticized from many areas including the solar industry, governments, and news groups. Some consider it a form of sabotaging the deal by removing the most cost effective means of converting large quantities of energy to renewable sources. “Viable solar air heating systems are being excluded in lieu of more expensive water-based heating systems just because they are on the “list.” As well as stifling innovation and preventing the widespread uptake in solar heating, this decision will ensure that the UK will be unable to meet their stated renewable energy targets because they are relying on expensive technologies that don’t address one of the largest usages of energy” states John Hollick, Chairman of the Solar Air Heating World Industries Association.Sponsors: