EU seeks to double renewable energy use by 2030

30-03-2023 12:08 PM

Ammon News - The European Union will aim to double its use of renewable energy by 2030 under a deal announced on Thursday.

It addresses the EU’s twin goals of drastically cutting its carbon emissions and replacing the Russian fossil fuels it once relied upon.

EU states will have new targets for clean energy use in the transport, heating and industrial sectors.

Pro-atomic energy countries such as France won a concession allowing them to use nuclear reactors to make hydrogen.

The overall goal is for renewables to make up 42.5 per cent of the EU’s energy consumption by 2030.

The target is being raised from 32 per cent under a previous EU law. The current figure is 21.8 per cent.

A higher target of 45 per cent, sought by EU headquarters, has been watered down to a non-binding aspiration.

The provisional deal was struck between negotiators from the European Parliament and the bloc’s 27 member states. It will need formal endorsement from both groups.

“This is a good day for Europe’s energy transition,” said Markus Pieper, a German MEP who represented the parliament’s largest centre-right bloc in talks.

“This will bring us closer to the Paris climate goals and reduce our dependence on others. It will mean a massive boost for renewable energies in Europe.”

EU energy commissioner Kadri Simson called it an "ambitious compromise".

Among the targets is that the energy used in buildings, for example for heating and air conditioning, should be 49 per cent renewable by 2030.

Hydrogen used as an industrial fuel should be 42 per cent renewable by that date. However, countries can lower this target if they at least avoid using fossil fuels and stay on track for their overall climate goals.

The small print keeps the door open for countries such as France to make hydrogen with nuclear energy, which is neither renewable nor carbon-intensive.

It comes despite objections from Austria and others who say nuclear power has no place in a renewable energy push.

The transport sector, which currently uses only 9.1 per cent renewable energy, will be asked to vastly raise its contribution.

The announcement follows an EU deal this week on making zero-emission cars the norm from 2035.

Europe’s biggest carmaker, Germany, won a concession that means combustion engines with synthetic e-fuels will still be in the frame as well as electric cars.

It also coincides with a batch of green policy announcements in the UK on Thursday.

The “Powering Up Britain” plan includes measures on wind, nuclear, hydrogen and insulation, but the opposition called it a rehash of earlier promises.

In Germany, climate activists have called for protests after accusing ruling parties of watering down emissions targets.

A compromise deal between parties in Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s coalition includes plans for new motorways and eases a ban on gas boilers.

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