EU sees higher climate target possible as renewables cost falls
02 March 2018 | Mitigation
According to a European Commission study the falling cost of wind and solar power puts higher renewable energy targets within reach, pressuring European Union legislators to set more ambitious climate goals.
Tough talks are now underway between EU nations and the European Parliament to set new targets for renewable energy’s share of the bloc’s overall energy use from 2021 to 2030.
Reuters reports EU politicians are pushing for renewable energy to account for at least a 35 per cent share by 2030, while national governments agreed a target of 27 per cent.
The new study by the EU executive, which updates 2016 policy cost projections, says lower costs together with other draft measures to improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions could cut the cost of achieving a 27 per cent target by €2.9 billion a year.
The cost of reaching a 30 per cent target in today’s market would be comparable to reaching a 27 per cent target under estimates in the 2016 assessment.
“Such lower costs for the energy system are explained by lower investment needs for the same renewable electricity capacity,” the study said.
It foresees a transition to lower-emission technologies in the power, building and transport sectors to reach the bloc’s climate goals.
The draft measures are aimed at helping the EU meet its overall goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 per cent below 1990 levels by 2030, following the United nations sponsored Paris Agreement to limit global warming to no more than two degrees Celsius.
Environmental campaigners said legislators must take the new economic modeling into consideration.
“They should serve as a wake-up call,” said Jean-Francois Fauconnier of the Climate Action Network Europe lobby group.