The EU is raising its targets for the amount of energy it consumes from renewable sources, in a deal landed by the climate chief as a hard-won victory for the switch to clean energy.
Energy ministers have agreed to a renewable energy target of 32% by 2030, this is a decent rise from the previous goal of 27%, however, it has fallen short of the hopes of some countries and green groups of a more ambitious share.
The EU council deal caps 18 months of negotiations was welcomed by the renewables industry and the trade body for European energy utilities called it “a well-balanced compromise.”
The talks saw the UK call for a target of 30%, below the 32% a newly pro-renewables France wanted and the 35% that new governments in Spain and Italy argued for.
Miguel Arias Canete, EU climate commissioner said: “This new ambition will help us meet our Paris agreement goals and will translate into more jobs, lower energy bills for consumers and less energy imports.”
However, whether this target will apply to the UK after it leaves the EU will depend on the exit deal reached by London and Brussels. The agreement also includes plans for a 2023 review on whether the target should be bumped even higher. Green energy advocates even argued the existing 2030 target was unambitious because member states were already on track to exceed it.
Molly Walsh, renewable energy campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe said: “EU decision-makers have agreed a paltry 32% target for renewable energy that is inadequate for a climate-safe fossil-free future and shows a failure to grasp a shifting energy landscape, including rapidly falling renewable costs”
This agreement now needs to be formally approved by the EU parliament and council in the upcoming months but we are excited to see what impact this has on the renewable infrastructure within the UK!