The European Union on Thursday made a provisional agreement on increasing renewable energy targets, a key component of the EU’s strategy to combat climate change and reduce reliance on fossil fuels from Russia.
Reuters reported that negotiators from the European Parliament and the Council, who represent EU member states, agreed that by 2030, the EU will aim to derive 42.5 per cent of its energy from renewable sources such as solar and wind power, with the possibility of increasing that number to 45 per cent.
The current renewable energy target for the EU for 2030 is 32 per cent.
In 2021, the EU sourced 22 per cent of its energy from renewable sources; however, the proportion of renewable energy use varied significantly among the countries.
It was reported that Sweden had the highest mix of renewable energy use among the 27 EU countries at 63 per cent, whereas Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, and Ireland had less than 13 per cent of their energy use sourced from renewable sources.
A rapid transition to renewable energy is critical for the EU to achieve its climate change targets, including a legally binding goal to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by 55 per cent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.
To achieve these lofty ambitions, the EU has set a target for its member countries to increase the share of renewable energy used in the transport sector to 29 per cent.
Additionally, the EU industry will gradually increase its use of renewables by 1.6 per cent annually, aiming to derive 42 per cent of the hydrogen it uses from renewable sources by 2030 and 60 per cent by 2035.
The EU directive also includes targets for buildings and aims to speed up permitting processes for renewable energy projects.
The European Commission has estimated that EU countries would need to invest an additional 113 billion euros in renewable energy and hydrogen infrastructure by 2030 to reduce their reliance on Russian fossil fuels.
According to the commission, “additional investments of 113 billion euros ($123 billion) in renewable energy and hydrogen infrastructure will be needed by 2030, if EU countries are to end their reliance on Russian fossil fuels.”
The EU has been making efforts to reduce its dependence on non-renewable energy sources, including oil and gas from Russia, which is one of the EU’s largest suppliers of fossil fuels.
The Commission’s estimate comes as part of the EU’s broader plans to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.