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    Europe Commits to Renewable Energy

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    Stability and growth of the renewable energy market in Europe were on the agenda at an energy conference in Brussels. European policymakers joined forces with other major stakeholders to chart the way forward for energy policy in the EU.

    European Union policymakers join forces with business leaders and representatives of civil society at an energy conference in Brussels to chart the way forward for energy policy in the EU.

    Friday's conference, called "Stability and Growth: Towards a Renewable European Energy Market" focused on tackling two major energy issues facing the EU.

    One is how to ensure that the energy targets for the year 2020 are met in the current economic climate in Europe. The second is to draft targets for the year 2030.

    [Günther Oettinger, EU Commissioner for Energy]:
    “So, are we on the right track to achieve our 2020 renewables target and to continue bringing about the large volume of renewables that the Roadmap says is necessary?”

    One of the 2020 targets is that 20-percent of all energy in Europe should come from renewable sources, including solar power, wind and biomass among others.

    The push to de-carbonize the energy sector and the problem of growing dependency on fossil fuel imports were issues highlighted at the conference.

    The European Union now sends 300 billion euros overseas every year to import fossil fuel—money that could be kept in Europe if renewable energy sources could be effectively developed.

    From a political perspective, dependence on foreign fossil fuels brings about instability and political dependence: on Russia for gas or Iran and Arab countries for oil.

    Some imports of fossil fuels also help prop up non-democratic regimes with a history of human rights violations—another reason to do something about changing the status quo...