Wednesday vital for clean energy package compromise

The European Council and the European Parliament will convene on Wednesday in a bid to propose a new and ambitious renewable energy target as part of the bloc’s 2030 Clean Energy Package.

Recent data has generated momentum behind the possibility of a more ambitious target, but the extent of the revised, more ambitious targets will now be subject to final negotiation.
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The EU Council, representing member states, originally proposed “at least 27 per cent” as approved by energy ministers in December, but is now tabling two options: 30-31 per cent or 32-33 per cent each with certain conditions attached, according to sources.

The European Parliament, meanwhile, initially voted for a 35 per cent share, but is now proposing a 34 per cent share of renewables in EU energy by 2030, according to sources.

The Renewable Energy Directive is a key part of the EU’s Clean Energy Package with Monday’s energy minister council in Luxembourg the last one under the Bulgarian presidency.

Bulgaria is keen to seal a deal before the revolving presidency passes to Austria at the end of June.

“As we reach crunch time in the Clean Energy Package, there’s still a lot up in the air for wind,” WindEurope’s Pierre Tardieu said Friday in a statement. “There’s clear political momentum in this direction as new governments in Spain and Italy could put their weight behind an ambitious target,” he added.

A study by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) commissioned by the EC shows that doubling the share of renewable energy in the EU to around 34 per cent by 2030 is both cost-effective and realizable with today’s technologies.

In its study publish earlier this year, IRENA concluded that the original 27 per cent renewable target initially agreed in 2014 may be regarded as a conservative objective for the EU especially as key technologies, such as solar PV and offshore wind, have achieved “spectacular cost reductions, exceeding expectations.”

With regards to the power sector, which IRENA says can still absorb large amounts of renewables, wind and solar would account for the bulk of additional capacity additions. This would result in 327 GW of wind energy installed capacity (97 GW above the reference case) and 272 GW of solar power (87 GW above the reference case), it said.

Beyond the power sector, the report also sees a large potential for renewables in the heating and cooling sectors, which currently account for half the EU’s energy demand.

In the transport sector, the EU has made limited progress over the last decade, it said adding that quick adoption of electric vehicles would be key to accelerating renewable deployment by enabling the use of renewable electricity in road transport.

EU member states combined are on track to meet the 20 per cent renewables share target in 2020, up from 17 per cent in 2015.à‚ 

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