Negotiators between the various institutions in Brussels have informally agreed on a binding 32 per cent EU renewable energy target for 2030.

EU climate action and energy commissioner Miguel Arias Canete tweeted Thursday, “Deal! New 32 per cent renewables target for 2030. Renewables are good for Europe, and today, Europe is good at renewables. This deal is a hard-won victory in our efforts to unlock the true potential of Europe’s clean energy transition.”

It ends a 20-month process of debate on a crucial aspect of the EU’s clean energy package legislation.

Miguel Canete and EU officials following renewable energy target decision
The European Commission had proposed “at least 27%” for renewable energy’s share of EU final energy demand in its November 2016 proposal to update the EU’s renewables directive.

Platts reports that the 28 EU national governments would be free to decide their own renewable shares, as long as they cumulatively meet the overall EU target.

The European Parliament originally wanted a 35% binding renewables target, while the EU Council, representing national governments, had originally backed the “at least 27%” target.

Bulgaria was keen to see a commitment to the new target sealed during its presidency.

Austria can now focus on reaching agreements on the other files in the EU’s 2016 clean energy package proposal, including electricity market design, electricity risk-preparedness, and new rules to govern EU energy regulatory agency ACER.

Canete also revealed on Twitter that no similar decision had been reached on an energy efficiency target. Bulgaria, representing the council, refused to go above 32 per cent, while the parliament insisted on 33 per cent according to a source. The EC had proposed a binding 30 per cent EU energy efficiency target in its November 2016 proposal to update the EU’s energy efficiency directive.

The parliament originally wanted a binding 35 per cent target, while the council had originally backed a non-binding 30% efficiency target. It is not clear yet if another round of talks can be organized on the energy efficiency directive before the end of June.