European commissioners remain split on how far the European Union’s renewable energy goals for 2030 should go. Some sources have speculated that a binding renewables agreement could now be discarded.
The EU has been at the forefront of climate change action but concerns raised about competiveness and cost mean that some countries have been deterred. One EU source told Reuters that targets of cutting emissions by 35-40% and increasing renewables to 24-27% is being debated but talks remain “inconclusive”.
Compromising on the 2030 targets is also being considered, according to the Financial Times. A source told the newspaper that a non-binding renewable target of less than 30% has been proposed. However, to give the move creditability stronger rules on energy efficiency, such as binding objectives relating to energy infrastructure and smart grids, could be enforced.
Earlier this month, ministers from some of the EU’s largest economies called on the commission to set an ambitious 2030 target for renewable energy use. The UK is currently opposed to such a target.
A survey of senior managers from some of the UK’s leading renewables firms, conducted by the Renewable Energy Association (REA) in October, showed only 2% were confident that the UK would meet its 2020 target of 15% of energy coming from renewables. This is down from 4% six months earlier.
The agreed target across the EU for 2020 was a 20% emissions cut from 1990 levels, a 20% share for renewable energy and energy savings of 20% when compared to 1990 levels.
In 2012, the share of renewable energy among EU member states rose to 14.4%, compared to the 13.1% registered in 2011. The UK experienced a slight increase over this time, rising from 3.8% to 4.1%.
The EU commission is expected to publish its 2030 targets later this month.