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On 28 November 2017, the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research, and Energy (ITRE) adopted a target which proposes that minimum of 35% of all energy consumed in the EU would need to come from renewable energy sources by 2030. Rémi Gruet, CEO of Ocean Energy Europe, welcomed the announcement and congratulated the high degree of ambition of the parliamentary committee. He said: “A 35% renewable energy target by 2030 would keep Europe in the game in terms of global renewable energy technology leadership, and generate significant jobs, growth and export opportunities. The Rapporteur has done excellent work in reaching a strong cross-party agreement.”
The ITRE also approved a binding target to reduce EU greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 (33 votes in favor, 30 against and 2 abstentions), which originally called for 27% . “The European energy sector must fully decarbonize to comply with the objective of the Paris Agreement and keep average global temperature increase below 1.5°C,” Ocean Energy Europe said.
Like the Greens, José Blanco López, MEP from the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats responsible for the proposal, initially supported a target of 45% renewables by 2030. “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 fulfill its Paris commitments, to fight climate change and to lead the energy transition,” Blanco said.
The committee’s legislative proposals also include measures to promote the self-consumption of renewable energy. For the transport sector, at least 12% of each Member State’s energy consumption should come from renewable energies, according to MEPs.
“With these goals, we will not only advance in the transition towards a decarbonised economy but we will also strengthen our energy security and our economy, also creating highly-qualified jobs,” explained José Blanco López.
In their statement, the members of ITRE have highlighted the importance for EU countries to create stable regulatory framework, and avoid frequent changes in their legislation.
They also proposed the removal of the charges, fees or taxes imposed on self-consumption, and the assessment of existing barriers that are hindering its development. They have asked all EU governments to simplify conditions or procedures for the creation of renewable energy communities.
Several renewable energy associations support the increased targets, including SolarPower Europe, which highlighted the importance of these goals in order to create jobs and investments in renewable energy.
“The European Parliament has shown ambition by adopting an EU binding renewable target of at least 35% by 2030. This will create more jobs and more solar installed in Europe, this is exactly what we need to accelerate the European energy transition. Through this vote, MEPs send a clear signal, that Europeans expect investments in renewables to increase in the next decade compared to the current one. We now call on the Council to endorse these ambitions and make sure Europe leads on renewables,” saidSolarPower Europe CEO, James Watson.
In January, the two legislative resolutions will be voted on by the European Parliament to give MEPs the mandate to start negotiations with EU governments.