EU's renewable energy plan is a ‘lame-duck’ 'setback', industry says.

Bloomberg: “Wind and solar power producers said they’re at risk of losing investment after the European Union’s executive arm scrapped proposals for a mandatory target on renewable energy use in 2030.”
“The European Commission yesterday said the 28-nation bloc should get 27 percent of its energy from renewables by 2030, up from 20 percent at the end of this decade. Unlike the current goal, the new one won’t be split into national targets.
“It’s very weak,” Jacopo Moccia, head of political affairs for the European Wind Energy Association, said in an interview today. “It was a communications gimmick rather than a real target. How do we determine the EU has met its target if it has no obligations on member states? It’s hard to imagine the EU will take itself to court and fine itself.”
….Companies including Vestas Wind Systems A/S (VWS), Alstom SA (ALO), Gamesa Corp. (GAM) Tecnologica SA and Acciona SA (ANA) lobbied for binding renewables targets, while the U.K. led a push against them to allow more space for carbon capture and nuclear power.
The commission’s proposal starts the debate among member nations about energy policy to 2030. It also called for a 40 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by then, double the current aim to cut 20 percent by 2020. EU heads of government are due to discuss the program in Brussels in March.
U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron said in a letter to Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso in December that a renewables target would cost British consumers 9 billion pounds ($14.8 billion) a year by 2030. The commission’s proposal would allow technologies such as nuclear power, carbon capture and storage and energy efficiency to be used in order to meet the EU’s overall goal on carbon.
….The share of renewable energy used in transport, heating and power generation reached to 12.7 percent in 2011 from 8.5 percent in 2005, according to statistics included in yesterday’s proposals.
….“It’s a setback, and it’s going to slow what I think is increasingly inevitable: the eventual supremacy of renewables,” Jeremy Leggett, chairman of the London-based installer Solar Century Holdings Ltd., said today by phone. “Most renewable technology costs are systemically going down while costs of most incumbent fossil fuels are rising.”
….“The commission’s proposal for 2030 sadly is a lame duck,” Frauke Thies, policy director for the photovoltaic association, said yesterday in a statement. “We are now looking at the European Council to make this supposedly binding target meaningful, by turning it into real national binding targets.”
….Already, Scottish Power Ltd. dropped plans for an offshore wind plant in December, saying it wasn’t financially viable, and RWE AG abandoned another venture a month before. SSE Plc (SSE) today indicated it has concerns about the investment climate in the U.K. and that it’s reviewing its strategy.
….While the U.K. opposed binding renewables goals, other countries wanted them. Environment and energy ministers from eight nations, including Germany, France and Italy, wrote to EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger and EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard earlier this month calling for a binding 2030 target.”