The EU needs to urgently unite behind proposals for a clean power boom

(EurActiv, 13 Jun 2022) The EU’s initial unity in the face of Russia’s war against Ukraine is at risk of falling apart over RePowerEU proposals to lift clean energy ambition. Governments should take confidence in the fact that half of the proposed ambition lift is already decided, argue Pawel Czyzak and Pieter de Pous.

Pawel Czyzak is a senior data analyst at energy think-tank Ember. Pieter de Pous is a senior policy advisor at E3G, a climate think-tank.

War and pandemic have shocked EU Member States into united action, which has led to a big increase in EU governments’ ambition to replace fossil fuels with renewables. A recent analysis by Ember found that 19 European governments accelerated their decarbonisation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, gas crisis and Russia’s war.

This means that EU countries will reach a 63% share of renewables in electricity generation by 2030, up from 55% under previous commitments. And fossil fuel power generation will be cut by 31% (272 TWh) compared to national strategies from 2019.

The European Commission’s proposed RePowerEU plan, which seeks to make the EU independent from Russian fossil fuel imports, is now building on this by proposing higher clean energy ambition for the EU as a whole, taking the share of renewables in the power sector up to 69% by 2030. While ambitious, this is hardly revolutionary – the 19 Member States which have already increased their targets despite having no legal obligation to do so will bring the EU share up by eight percentage points. Raising the EU share of renewables by another 6% is therefore not a heavy lift, especially given that the 19 Member States who have already raised their ambition would make up a qualified majority in Council.

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EurActiv, 13 Jun 2022: The EU needs to urgently unite behind proposals for a clean power boom