EU Parliament votes in favor of 2030 binding renewable energy target of 35%


The European Parliament has approved the proposal submitted by its Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE), to set an EU 2030 renewable energy target of 35%.

Europe's Climate Action and Energy Commissioner, Miguel Arias Cañete has welcomed the vote on his twitter account by saying, “Great day for clean energies in the EU, the European Parliament shows it means business with Europe's clean energy transition and our Paris Agreement commitments.”

Arias Cañete, however, added he is now ready for “trilogue negotiations,” and admitted that they won't be easy, although the European Commission will do “its outmost to facilitate an ambitious agreement.”

If approved by all member states, the new binding target would be a significant improvement over the 27% target set under the latest version of the Clean Energy Package 2020-2030, developed by the European Commission.

When the ITRE released its proposal in late November, it also urged all of the EU countries to establish clear regulatory frameworks for clean energy technology, and not to introduce retroactive changes in their respective laws for energy and renewables.

The new energy efficiency target proposed by the ITRE, however, was rejected by the Parliament. In its proposal the ITRE had called for a 40% lower energy consumption, and an increase in energy efficiency, by 2030 at the EU level, thus reflecting greater ambitions than the EU Commission, which proposed a 30% reduction.

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European solar energy association, SolarPower Europe has welcomed the Parliament's vote, claiming it will bring the EU back on track to global leadership on renewables.

“This is excellent news for solar, as it strengthens the right to self-consume and brings forward new innovative business models such as third-party ownership, peer-to-peer exchanges and power purchase agreements,” said Aurélie Beauvais, Policy Director of SolarPower Europe.

“Indeed, MEPs have empowered all European consumers, including tenants and low-income citizens, to benefit from affordable and clean solar power. The Parliament should be proud of this achievement which is a big step in the right direction for a consumer-led clean energy transition. The rapporteurs must now stand firm on this level of ambition ahead of the trialogue negotiations in February.”

The Clean Energy Package 2020-2030, which is also known as the Winter Package, has so far raised both doubts and hopes in the European renewable energy sector. On one hand, the package is considered to not be ambitious enough, but, on the other hand, it has also been praised as the EU's first serious attempt to create a unified energy market with renewables at its core.

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