Why the EU’s power grids need higher renewable energy targets

(EurActiv, 28 Mar 2023) Adopting a 45% renewable energy target can help align grid infrastructure with fast-expanding clean technology markets, ensuring the EU’s transition away from costly fossil fuels doesn’t lose speed, argue Elisabeth Cremona, Antonella Battaglini, and Andrzej Ceglarz.

Elisabeth Cremona is an energy analyst at Ember, an independent energy think-tank. Antonella Battaglini is the CEO, and Andrzej Ceglarz is programme manager at Renewables Grid Initiative (RGI), a unique collaboration of TSOs and NGOs across Europe.

2022 was a record year for clean energy deployment in Europe. It’s likely the first of many: industry bodies predict that clean technology growth will continue accelerating.

Research by Ember revealed that the projected installation rate of key clean technologies will far outpace expectations of the Fit-for-55 package, putting the EU on course to reach at least 45% renewable energy by 2030. 

This reflects the new urgency to shed fossil fuels in Europe since the start of the energy crisis and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

But to deliver the momentum on clean technologies set in motion by markets, industry and national policies, the EU will need realistic plans for infrastructure to keep pace. One crucial part of this is electricity grids.

The stratospheric growth of technologies like heat pumps, electric vehicles, and solar and wind is good news for the energy transition and Europe’s resilience in the face of energy crises.

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EurActiv, 28 Mar 2023: Why the EU’s power grids need higher renewable energy targets