EU readies €195 billion plan to quit Russian fossil fuels

(EurActiv, 13 May 2022) The European Commission plans to unveil a €195 billion plan to stop importing Russian fossil fuels by 2027, combining a faster rollout of renewable energy and energy savings with a switch to alternative gas supplies, draft documents show.

The draft measures, which could change before they are due to be published next week, are a follow-up to Commission plans outlined on 8 March after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Called REPowerEU, the March plan aimed to “eliminate” Europe’s dependence on Russian gas “well before 2030” and reduce the EU’s dependence on Russian gas by two thirds before the end of this year.

The follow-up measures to be presented next week include a mix of EU laws, non-binding schemes, and recommendations national governments could take up, including by revising their plans to spend the EU’s huge COVID-19 recovery fund to free up more funding for the energy transition.

The Commission expects the measures to require €195 billion in investments, on top of those already needed to meet the bloc’s 2030 climate target, which would help slash Europe’s bill for fossil fuel imports.

To spearhead the plans, Brussels is considering proposing higher targets for renewable energy and energy efficiency, according to the draft proposals and EU officials.

Goals under discussion include a target for a 45% share of renewable energy by 2030, replacing the current 40% proposal, and a 13% cut in EU-wide energy consumption by 2030 compared with expected use, replacing the Commission’s current 9% proposal.

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EurActiv, 13 May 2022: EU readies €195 billion plan to quit Russian fossil fuels