The European Renewable Energy Council (EREC), the umbrella lobby group for all renewable-energy technologies in the European Union, has gone into voluntary liquidation. This development will leave the sector without a main co-ordinator for lobbying at a time when the European Commission has proposed to scrap nationally binding renewable-energy targets after 2020.
EREC, which operated as a non-profit organisation, had incurred major debts from its lease on the ‘Renewable Energy House’ in Brussels, which also hosted other renewable-energy associations.
The building, situated on Rue d’Arlon in central Brussels, was inaugurated in 2006 as a showcase for sustainable energy, with EREC as the main tenant of all three of its buildings. It was part of a project proposal by Prince Laurent of Belgium to turn a 140-year-old neoclassical building into a showcase for renewable-energy technologies. However, the organisation had become weighed down by the heavy debts on this lease.
Rainer Hinrichs-Rahlwes, president of EREC, said that it is “somewhat ironic that, although the Renewable Energy House itself is running fine and is a testament to the reliability of our technologies, the lease agreement of the building has now turned out to be the cause of the demise of the organisation that the house was intended to serve.”
Hinrichs-Rahlwes said that the dissolution “could not come at a more inappropriate time.”
“With the umbrella organisation dissolved, it will be much more challenging to achieve the necessary decisions towards a favourable investment climate for the renewable energy sector in Europe.”
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EREC co-ordinated the lobbying efforts of all different renewable-energy technologies, including solar, wind, biomass, geothermal and hydropower. Without the co-ordination group, the different technologies may find themselves competing with each other for policy developments and funding.