Ditch renewables targets if you care about climate change

January 21, 2014

The renewable energy target never made sense with the EU having already adopted the Emissions Trading System (ETS) to limit emissions from electricity generation (among other things). With emissions already capped, the renewable energy target could offer no additional environmental benefit. All it did was to drive up the cost of achieving the same degree of emissions reduction. The technologies it has obliged governments to support are among the most expensive available today. We have spent the last year or two passing up chances to save carbon at less than €10 a tonne, because of the low ETS price, while simultaneously forcing ourselves to buy the same carbon savings at over €1000 a tonne to meet the renewables target. At the margin, we’re getting a hundredth of the decarbonisation we could be getting for the same money…

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