Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have voted for a renewable energy target of 35% by 2030, rather than 27% earlier proposed by the European Commission.
The Parliament also voted that the member states set national targets, from which they would be allowed to deviate by a maximum of 10% under certain conditions, as well as give five years' visibility up front on their public support for renewables.
To deliver on the aims, by 1 January 2019 and every ten years thereafter, each member state must notify an integrated national energy and climate plan to the EU Commission.
The first plan should cover the period from 2021 to 2030, with the following plans covering the ten-year period immediately following the end of the previous. The Commission would then assess the plans and make recommendations or take remedial measures if it considers that insufficient progress or actions have been undertaken.
“35% makes sense economically. Consumers benefit – wind is now the cheapest form of new power generation in Europe. And wind is a key part of European manufacturing and exports – it supports 263,000 jobs in Europe industry and contributes €36bn to EU GDP. A 27% target puts all that at risk," Giles Dickson, WindEurope CEO, said.
"The difference between 27% and 35% in wind is €92bn investments not made and 136,000 jobs not created. And other sectors would miss out too with a lower target: every €1,000 invested in wind creates €250 value for the wider supply chain including chemicals, steel and construction. The Commission is starting to get it: they think going beyond 27% is cost-effective.”
In November last year, a group of leading European offshore wind developers signed a declaration to call upon EU policymakers to endorse the 35% target, citing that the proposed 27% target lacks ambition and would slow down the current rate of renewables deployment, affecting industrial value chains and putting at risk the gains and competitive advantage achieved in the past decade.