The Battle Lines over a 2030 EU renewables target

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20% renewables, 20% emissions reductions and 20% energy efficiency, all done by 2020. This is the EU’s climate targets for 2020 summarized. As some have pointed out these targets don’t particularly add up very well to a coherent plan. One thing that remains unclear is if the EU will implement a target for 2030, or if the numbers will all add up to the same thing, hopefully not 30 in this case. Maybe we’ll get 40 this time. Naturally the environmental NGOs, not being particularly keen on having nuclear energy as part of the energy mix will lobby to have a renewable energy target.

What are the prospects of a 2030 renewables target? Germany, naturally will want it. They can do what they were going to do anyway and still claim to be doing something. However, today a Joint Communication from a number of European countries probably indicates where the battle lines will be drawn, and which countries will be involved. The UK is already known to be opposed to a 2030 renewable target, essentially not wanting to be inflexible as far as energy mix is concerned in 2030. Joined by Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain today the UK affirmed by the following:

Member States committed to press ahead with their decarbonisation objectives through the deployment of the fullest possible range of low carbon technologies, particular to their nation’s needs and wishes. This could include renewables, carbon  capture and storage (CCS), and nuclear power. Such neutrality of technology  complements the common European goal of a decarbonised economy given that  determination of the energy mix is a national competence

This affirmation of technology neutrality is a hopeful sign that a more pragmatic approach will be taken to EU energy policy, and that future energy mixes will be driven by what is economically and technologically optimal and not by what is politically correct.

One thought on “The Battle Lines over a 2030 EU renewables target

    Lauri Muranen said:
    March 12, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    An excellent article.

    One should add that the Lisbon Treaty says that choosing energy sources fall under national competence and thus the EU should not dictate it.

    This is yet to be tested but I am pretty sure that at least one MS would attempt to relieve itself from mandatory targets via court.


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