Italy and Spain join group of countries supporting 2030 binding renewable energy target of 35%

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Spain and Italy, two countries which have recently seen the formation of a new government that, in both cases, promises to do more for renewable energies including solar, have joined the club of those countries such as Sweden, Lithuania, Luxembourg, and Portugal, which supports a 2030 binding renewable energy target of 35%.

The announcement was given by the EU Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action, Arias Cañete, during the press conference on the discussions between the EU Council and Parliament and the progress in negotiations on three legislative proposals under the clean energy package: the regulation on governance of the Energy Union and the two directives on renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Cañete has stressed that there are currently four different groups for four different targets within the European Union: the aforementioned 35% group; a group of member states aiming for a target over 30%, but “far away from 35%”; a group which sticks to the idea of a 30% target; and another group composed of countries with different lower targets.

Cañete has also stated that current negotiations on the final target are still difficult and that several issues must be solved before a final agreement will be reached. “For this reason, the European Presidency has put a compromise proposal with different level of ambitions and flexibility,” the Energy Commissioner added. The alignment of Italy and Spain with the 35% group, however, may facilitate the reaching of a final agreement, which is expected to be announced on Wednesday.

The European Parliament had approved in January the proposal submitted by its Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE), to set an EU 2030 renewable energy target of 35%, while the European Council had later proposed, instead, a flexible target of up to 32-33%.

That Spain and Italy have changed their mind on final EU target for renewables, on the other hand, is not only due to the formation of possibly new more green-oriented governments, but also to a renewed interest and growing investments in solar and renewables in both countries.