EU Raises Renewable Energy Target To 32% By 2030

The EU has hiked up its target for the amount of energy it consumes from renewable sources.

Following extensive late night negotiations on Thursday, discussions surrounding energy policy between the European Parliament and EU member states reached a compromise on a 32 per cent renewable energy objective, up from the previous goal of 27 per cent, and a complete phase-out of palm oil use in transport by 2030. 

The talks also established the right of European citizens, local authorities, small businesses and cooperatives to produce, consume, store and sell their own renewable energy, without being subject to punitive taxes or excessive red tape.

The discussions saw the UK call for a target of 30 per cent, below the 32 per cent a newly pro-renewables France wanted and the 35 per cent that new governments in Spain and Italy argued for.

Miguel Arias Cañete, EU climate commissioner, said: “This deal is a hard-won victory in our efforts to unlock the true potential of Europe’s clean energy transition. This new ambition will help us meet our Paris agreement goals and will translate into more jobs, lower energy bills for consumers and less energy imports.”

He added that the binding nature of the goal would provide certainty to investors.

Whether the target will apply to the UK after it leaves the EU will depend on the exit deal reached by London and Brussels.

The agreement also includes plans for a 2023 review on whether the target should be bumped even higher.

Around 17 per cent of EU energy consumption in 2016 was from renewables, with the UK on about nine per cent.

Around 17 per cent of EU energy consumption in 2016 was from renewables, with the UK on about nine per cent.

Green energy advocates argued the existing 2030 target was unambitious because member states were already on track to exceed it.

Molly Walsh, renewable energy campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe told reporters: “EU decision-makers have agreed a paltry 32 per cent target for renewable energy that is both inadequate and shows a failure to grasp a shifting energy landscape including rapidly falling renewables costs.”

Walsh added: “However, communities have won a key concession, gaining recognition for their right to generate, consume and sell energy – this gives people an opportunity to drive a transformation of our energy system, surpassing the bleak expectations of these targets.”

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