A report published today by the European Court of Auditors (ECA) reveals that improvements are needed if EU funding is to make the maximum possible contribution to achieving the 2020 renewable energy target. The EU auditors examined whether funds in that period had been allocated to well prioritised, cost-effective and mature renewable energy generation projects with rational objectives and to what extent these funds had achieved good results in contributing to the EU 2020 target for energy from renewable sources.
VIDEO: Interview with Ladislav Balko, ECA Member responsible for the report
“The EU Member States have set ambitious renewable energy goals that can be supported significantly through EU money only if improvements in the management of the expenditure programmes are made,” stated Mr Ladislav Balko, the ECA Member responsible for the report, “The Commission also needs to make sure the programmes being funded in the Member States are cost-effective.”
The ECA found that the audited projects delivered outputs as planned, and most of them were sufficiently mature and ready for implementation when selected. There were no significant cost overruns or time delays in the projects, and the renewable energy generation capacities were installed as planned and operational. However, the energy production results
were not always achieved or not properly measured. The overall value for money of Cohesion policy funds support to renewable energy generation projects has been limited in helping achieve the EU 2020 renewable energy target, because: cost-effectiveness has not been the guiding principle in planning and implementing the renewable energy generation projects; and cohesion policy funds had a limited EU added value.
The Council of the European Union has set a binding EU target of 20 % in renewable energy in gross final energy consumption by 2020, based on the Commission’s Renewable Energy Roadmap which lays down a pathway for mainstreaming renewable energy into EU energy policies and markets.
Approximately € 4.7 billion was allocated for renewable energy by the EU Cohesion policy funds in 2007 - 2013.
European Court of Auditors (ECA) special reports are published throughout the year, presenting the results of selected audits of specific EU budgetary areas or management topics.