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Target of 35% renewables by 2030 set for European energy sector

The European Parliament Committee for Industry, Research and Energy has voted to adopt a target of at least 35% renewables in the EU’s energy mix by 2030. The vote, on 28 November, was in response to a report by José Blanco, MEP from the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, on the percentages of renewable energy in heating and cooling.

Blanco said: “The industry and energy committee in the European Parliament just sent a strong message by setting a binding target of 35% of renewable energy across the EU: Europe needs to do more; it needs more ambition for renewable energy if it wants to fulfil its Paris commitments, to fight climate change and to lead the energy transition.”

“The industry and energy committee, backed by a large majority, want to raise the EU binding target from 27% to 35%. It also wants to reinforce self-consumption as a right, to bring security and certainty to investors, to raise the ambition for de-carbonising the transport sector, as well as the heating and cooling sectors,” Blanco continued, in a statement from S&D.
 
“With these goals, we will not only advance in the transition towards a de-carbonised economy but we will also strengthen our energy security and our economy, also creating highly-qualified jobs.” 

 

Mixed response

The report has been met with a mixed response. The European Commission had proposed a 27% target for renewables in the energy sector.  Blanco’s original proposal was for a 40% target, with binding national obligations. According to EURACTIV, Green politicians in the European parliament have labelled the compromised deal a ‘missed opportunity’, especially because it doesn’t include binding national targets.

Although welcoming the result, Jean-Marc Jossart, Secretary General of the European Biomass Association AEBIOM, was cautious about what it meant for the heating and cooling sectors.

“This vote shows the European Parliament understanding that tackling the H&C sector is essential to reach our long-term climate objectives. We hope the Council will follow this approach and acknowledge the underlying economic and environmental benefits of decarbonising the H&C sector,” Jossart remarked in an AEBIOM press release.

In a statement from a group of renewable energy sector associations, Jossart noted: “However, provisions adopted on heating and cooling are not quite ambitious enough to prevent the EU from locking in fossil fuels in this sector.”