EU reaches agreement on higher renewable energy target for 2030
The European Union has reached a provisional deal to raise the share of renewables in its final energy consumption to 42.5% by 2030, under the revision of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED).
The deal, reached on March 30, 2023, brings the EU one step closer to completing the ‘Fit for 55’ legislation to deliver the European Green Deal and the REPowerEU objectives.
The agreement raises the EU’s binding renewable target for 2030 to a minimum of 42.5%, up from the current 32% target and almost doubling the existing share of renewable energy in the EU. Negotiators also agreed that the EU would aim to reach 45% of renewables by 2030.
A massive scaling-up and speeding-up of renewable energy across power generation, industry, buildings and transport will reduce energy prices over time and decrease the EU’s dependence on imported fossil fuels, according to the European Commission.
Frans Timmermans, executive vice-president for the European Green Deal, said: “Renewable energy will power Europe’s future, and contribute to our energy sovereignty by reducing fossil fuel imports.
“Homegrown renewables are also among the cheapest energy sources on the market, so more renewables mean cheaper and cleaner energy sources for our citizens and business. I welcome this agreement, which brings the EU one step closer to finishing our Fit for 55 legislation and meeting the commitments in the EU Climate Law.”
Simplified permitting procedures and innovative renewable energy technologies
Under the new law, permitting procedures will be easier and faster. Renewable energy will be recognized as an overriding public interest, while preserving a high level of environmental protection.
In areas with high renewables potential and low environmental risks, EU member states will put in place dedicated acceleration areas for renewables, with particularly short and simple permitting processes.
The provisional agreement also enhances cross-border cooperation on renewables.
The maximum period for national authorities to approve new renewable energy installations will be 12 months, if located in so-called ‘renewables go-to areas’. Outside such areas, the process should not exceed 24 months.
European parliament members also secured that member states set an indicative target for innovative renewable energy technology of at least 5% of newly installed renewable energy capacity, as well as a binding framework for cross-border energy projects.
In the transport sector, renewables deployment should lead to a 14.5% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, by using a greater share of advanced biofuels and a more ambitious quota for renewable fuels of non-biological origin, such as hydrogen.
The informal agreement will now have to be endorsed by both European Parliament and Council in order to come into law. The Industry, Research and Energy Committee will hold a confirmation vote in a forthcoming meeting.
Kadri Simson, European commissioner for energy, said: “I welcome the agreement, which is a milestone for our REPowerEU Plan and the European Green Deal. Renewables are key to Europe’s climate neutrality goal and will enable us to secure our long-term energy sovereignty. With this deal we are giving investors certainty and affirm the EU’s role as the global leader in renewables deployment, and frontrunner of the clean energy transition.”
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