Which path is the EU following towards more renewable energy?

Energy, environment
On 30 November 2016, the European Commission presented its ‘Clean energy for all Europeans’ package. The legislative initiatives cover among others energy efficiency, renewable energy and governance rules for the Energy Union.
The package puts energy efficiency first while providing a fair deal for consumers. This roadmap is the path to follow towards 2030, as the EU has the ambition to become the world number one when it comes to renewable energy. The policies previously in place were not enough to deliver on the commitments made in the 2015 Paris agreement.

The need for a EU framework

As part of the package, the proposal for a revised renewable energy directive confirms the EU-wide binding target of 27% for the share of renewable energy to be consumed in the EU by 2030. This target is no longer broken down into legally binding national targets. Therefore, the 2030 roadmap is all the more important in order to guide the commitments of each EU Member State and to find a framework to cooperate on several projects.

For example, the European Structural and Investment Funds 2014-2020 recognized the deep renovation of buildings as a key priority for funding, one of the elements put into practice in the proposal for a revised energy performance of buildings Directive. It is an opportunity and challenge for many companies to make use of such funding and to work together. This within an EU framework and a widespread and diffuse dialogue. The initiatives at EU level are much welcomed. The lack of an EU level policy on renewable heating and cooling has led to fragmented markets across Europe and it reduced investors’ certainty in the long term. Even though the heating and cooling sector accounts for 50% of total energy demand in Europe.

Circular Economy Package

Another aspect of renewable energy is the Circular Economy Package, which enhances recycling and re-use of products. The cycle includes production and consumption of products as well as waste management and the market for secondary raw materials. We can think of many products in recycling batteries. Not only batteries, plastic bottles but also mattresses and leftover food play a crucial role in this.

A solid framework?

Although the question raises whether this ‘2030 roadmap’ provides a solid framework in order to reach the EU-wide binding target for the renewable energy share consumed by 2030, the many projects funded show the EU and Member States’ commitment to reach it. So if we continue this path towards 2030, are we then finally on the (r)evolutionary road towards a more sustainable environment?

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