The European Commission has presented its plan on how to reduce EU greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans and Commissioner Kadri Simson announced that legislative proposals will be presented by June 2021 to implement the new target, including a revised and expanded EU Emissions Trading System, and reinforced energy efficiency and renewable energy policies. A critical milestone is the confirmation that the European Commission will increase its 2030 renewable energy target from the current 32% up to 38–40%, for which a proposal will be submitted by June 2021.
The Commission also confirmed that it would explore the possibility of a more robust industrial strategy for advanced solar technologies, a success for the European solar sector, following the hard work of SolarPower Europe and the launch of the Solar Manufacturing Accelerator in July 2020.
Walburga Hemetsberger, CEO of SolarPower Europe, commented: “It is very positive that the European Commission plans to increase the renewable energy target from today’s 32% to between 38% and 40%. This will see Europe lead the world in renewable energy technologies and will help to achieve the increased emissions targets by 2030. Solar has seen the largest cost reductions of any renewable technology, major efficiency gains and new innovations, such as floating solar and Agri-PV. This makes it a strategic technology that not only contributes to the objectives of the European Green Deal but creates jobs and development opportunities across all of Europe. “
Aurelie Beauvais, Policy Director of SolarPower Europe, added: “The lack of carbon pricing in the building and the transport sector was a missing link of Europe’s climate strategy, to encourage electrification and increase the use of solar electricity in these sectors. The European Commission confirmed that it will address this gap and review the EU ETS regulations and Energy Taxation Directive to establish a level playing field between renewables and fossil fuels. SolarPower Europe stands ready to support the European Commission in this ambitious and essential task.”