The EU 2030 energy and climate targets were on the agenda at a meeting of EU Heads of State which followed on from discussions on the Ukraine crisis.
While several Member States support plans for a pan-EU 2030 renewables target, many other EU leaders also support the UK Government’s opposition to binding targets for individual Member States.
José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, said later:
“Discussions on Ukraine also reflected the importance of a stronger and truly European energy policy… Some of these climate change goals are very much in line with energy security because if you have more renewables you are less dependent on imports of fossil fuels.”
Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, said:
“Europe is stepping up a gear to reduce energy dependency, especially with Russia: by reducing our energy demand, with more energy efficiency; by diversifying our supply routes to and within Europe, and expanding energy sources, in particular renewables.”
The UK’s Renewable Energy Association (REA) has been pushing for binding renewables targets for individual Member States as a means of ensuring increased deployment of renewables at lowest cost, and accelerating the associated benefits of job creation, emissions savings and enhanced energy security.
Welcoming these comments, Dr Nina Skorupska, Chief Executive, REA, said:
“It is encouraging that decision-makers understand that renewable energy is as much about energy security as climate change. Broad support for a pan-EU target is a small step forward, but targets for Member States would provide much greater impetus for growth. Renewables still need targeted support to achieve a level playing field with other energy technologies.
“Binding renewables targets for Member States would boost investor confidence, reduce the costs of capital and enable faster cost reductions through learning, innovation and scaling. Ultimately they would help us upgrade our energy system faster for the urgent challenges of the twenty-first century.”
EU leaders committed to reach final agreement on the 2030 energy and climate framework by October this year, to take forward to next year’s UN climate change conference in Paris.
The Renewable Energy Association represents renewable energy producers and promotes the use of all forms of renewable energy in the UK across power, heat, transport and renewable gas. It is the largest renewable energy trade association in the UK, with approximately 1,000 members, ranging from major multinationals to sole traders.