By Gemma Childe on 12th Jun 2012
New goals are urgently required to encourage the growth of renewable energy beyond 2030, the European Commission has said.
Whilst some in the renewable sector are asking for legally binding goals and strong guidance, others are against new legal milestones and want targets to be non-binding.
Analysts and experts in the industry say that with firm goals, the EU could exceed its current target to increase the share of renewables to 20 per cent by 2020.
"Without a suitable framework (after 2020) renewable energy growth will slump," the Commission said.
Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said: "We should continue to develop renewable energy and promote innovative solutions. We have to do it in a cost-efficient way.
"This means producing wind and solar power where it makes economic sense and trading it within Europe, as we do for other products and services."
The Commission is backing an integrated market that would connect to northern Africa, where it sees the potential for large-scale solar generation to supply Europe.
Subsidy schemes should be consistent, the Commission said, adding that abrupt changes shatter investor confidence.
At the same time, however, Mr Oettinger believes subsidies should be gradually withdrawn as renewables become more feasible.
The UK Government has said that the focus should be on carbon emissions and that targets for wind and solar might put other "low-carbon" generation, such as nuclear or gas, at a disadvantage.