The European Commission is analyzing whether the European Union (EU) should set an even higher 2030 target for the share of renewables in the overall energy mix, as part of efforts to speed up the bloc’s shift from Russian fossil fuels. Last year the commission proposed lifting the existing 32% target to 40%, and is now considering raising it to 45%.
In May, the commission is due to unveil a plan to shift from imports of fossil fuels from Russia, the EU’s biggest supplier of natural gas. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has said the EU should abandon Russian fossil fuel imports entirely by 2027.
The EU’s plan to end reliance on Russian fossil fuels will include rules to remove permitting barriers for renewable energy projects
The plan will include a legislative proposal to facilitate permitting for renewable energy projects, according to Mechthild Wörsdörfer, the commission’s deputy director general in charge of the just and green energy transition, Reuters reported.
Von der Leyen said earlier that the speed at which the EU will achieve energy independence will depend on the pace of its switch to renewables and hydrogen, combined with more energy efficiency.
A 45% renewables target is supported by renewable industry associations
The initiative to set a 45% renewables goal, according to reports, has received support from renewable industry associations, including SolarPower Europe, one of the signatories of an open letter urging the EU to facilitate energy storage development alongside renewables and hydrogen.
The commission’s REPowerEU plan to end the EU’s reliance on Russian fossil fuels includes cutting natural gas consumption, speeding up the roll-out of renewable gases, and increasing electricity generation from renewables, but it also envisages more nuclear energy and coal.