The European Union has decided to increase its renewable energy target. EU Energy ministers have agreed a binding renewable energy target of 32% by 2030, up from the previous goal of 27% but short of the hopes of some countries and green groups for a more ambitious share.
The EU council deal caps 18 months of negotiations. 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.
However the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), in the person of its director-general Adnan Z. Amin, has welcomed the decision, highlighting that the move reinforces the EU’s position at the forefront of energy transformation and reflects the new economics of renewable energy. Responding to the announcement made by the European Commission today, Mr Amin said:
“The EU’s decision to increase its renewable energy target from 27 % to 32 % by 2030 is a move that … establishes a positive decarbonisation pathway in line with its commitments under the Paris Agreement.
“It is also recognition that the new economics of renewable energy have propelled it to the forefront of energy policy and investment decision making as governments around the world look to address long-term climate and economic agendas. Our renewable energy roadmap analysis, delivered to the European Commission earlier this year, identified that higher shares of renewable energy in the EU were cost-effective and would have a net positive economic impact.
“This ambitious and achievable new strategy will drive significant additional investment activity, creating thousands of new skilled jobs and improving health and wellbeing whilst decarbonising the European energy system. We welcome the decision and believe it can act as a source of encouragement to global policymakers, and as a clear reminder of the centrality of renewable energy to both economic prosperity and climate stability.”