When PES was first established, it was done so in tandem with the Sustainable Energy Europe 2005-2008 campaign. That particular milestone has come and gone, and earlier this year we achieved yet another legislative landmark. In January, the EU achieved its 2010 renewable electricity target of 21% of electricity (according to the EU's 2001 Renewable Electricity Directive) - and wind energy was at the heart of that success.
"The growth of renewables between 2005 and 2010 was largely carried by onshore wind. In future the renewables sector will benefit from significant growth in offshore wind and other technologies as they become more mature," commented Justin Wilkes, EWEA's Director of Policy. If renewable electricity production in the EU continued to grow at the same rate as it did from 2005 to 2010 it would account for 36.4% of electricity in 2020 and 51.6% in 2030.
"The renewable electricity targets set back in 2001 have been realistic as well as effective, and the targets have worked in achieving their purpose within the time foreseen," he added. "The growth achieved in the last five years has been outstanding and if continued would result in over half of the EU's electricity coming from renewables by 2030. A long-term stable framework, underpinned by an ambitious 2030 renewable energy target, is clearly the proven way to ensure Europe meets its climate, competitiveness and energy security goals."
So while I'm taking a brief moment to flag what we've achieved over the past few years, this is not the time to look backwards; it's very much the time for brave, ambitious plans that will take us forward over the next 20 years and more. That's why this issue is packed with views and reportage from the bravest and most ambitious wind energy ambassadors - from the six specially-selected interviewees who make-up this issue's roundtable, to the commentators you'll find elsewhere in the magazine.