The European Parliament has given its approval to a set of new targets on renewable energy and energy efficiency, paving the way for Europe’s Clean Energy Package to become law.
The Parliament voted in favour of a political deal reached in June 2018 by the European Council that covers renewable energy, energy efficiency and governance of the Energy Union.
The Clean Energy Package will establish a binding EU-wide 2030 renewable energy target of 32 per cent and an energy efficiency target of 32.5 per cent. Both targets will be reviewed by 2023, but can only be raised, not lowered.
The new regulatory framework will help to enable investments in clean energy, according to the European Commission. The legislation has been designed to help reduce energy bills, improve air quality, tackle energy poverty and enhance energy security.
“Four out of eight proposals of the Clean Energy for All Europeans Package have now been fully agreed, a signal that we are on the right track and that we will deliver on our pledge made at the beginning of the mandate,” said Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete. “Our ambitious commitment to clean energy in Europe and the Paris Agreement will be made a reality by laws like the ones voted today.”
Under the legislation, national governments will have to provide detailed National Energy and Climate Plans for 2030, in which they spell out how much renewable energy they will deploy to help meet the European target of 32 per cent and how.
European countries will also need to provide at least five years’ visibility on their public support for renewables, including the timing, volumes and budget for future auctions. They will also be allowed to run technology-specific auctions.
Wind energy industry association WindEurope said that the five-year visibility on renewables support would be crucial for investment. CEO Giles Dickson said: “This clarity helps the industry to make new investment decisions, plan ahead and reduce costs. The National Energy and Climate Plans will also be vital. Investments in manufacturing, skills and R&D only happen when governments give long-term visibility to our supply chain.
“Countries should see these plans as an opportunity rather than a bureaucratic exercise. We in the industry see them as investment brochures for the next decade. We will invest in the countries with the best plans.”