EU ministers agree on renewable targets for 2030

European Climate Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete

European Union environment and energy ministers have agreed to renewable energy targets for 2030 ahead of negotiations next year with the European Parliament, which has called for more ambitious green energy goals.

According to Reuters, ministers said they would aim to source at least 27 per cent of the bloc’s energy from renewables by 2030, up from a target of 20 per cent by 2020.

In October, the European Parliament called for this target to be increased to 35 per cent. As part of the package of measures, ministers also agreed on the share of renewable fuels to be used in transport while setting a cap on first-generation biofuels.

EU member states set a 14 per cent renewables target for fuels used in road transport by 2030, with bonuses given for the use of renewable electricity in road and rail transport.

The inclusion of rail into the renewable transport targets was criticised by the European Commission, as large parts of the European rail network are already electrified.

“The level of ambition is clearly insufficient,” Europe’s climate commissioner Miguel Arias Canete said, adding that with falling prices for renewables, the EU could reach a target of 30 per cent renewables with similar costs as had been previously estimated for the 27 per cent.

“The reduction of costs in renewables has been spectacular, whether it is in solar energy or wind power,” Canete said.

The EU’s renewables targets are part of a set of proposals to implement the bloc’s climate goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 per cent below 1990 levels by 2030, in the wake of the Paris Agreement to limit further global warming to no more than 2 degrees.

Reuters said ministers also reached a common position on a set of rules for the internal electricity market, such as the roll-out of more sophisticated electricity meters to consumers and allowing grid operators to run energy storage facilities.