In the last few weeks, world leaders and their representatives have convened in Glasgow to tackle the climate crisis.
The conclusions from the summit highlight the need to accelerate the deployment of clean power generation, while countries made individual pledges that should result in an increase of 1.8 to 2.4°C of global warming. Countries have agreed to revisit their commitments, by the end of 2022, to keep the world in sight of the Paris Agreement goal of 1.5°C warming.
In the wake of COP26, and to ensure the EU stands up to its 1.5 °C commitment, SolarPower Europe calls on the EU to increase its renewable energy target to 45% by 2030.
In July 2021, the European Commission proposed a 40% renewables target. SolarPower Europe’s 100% Renewable Europe study with LUT university shows that a 45 % renewable energy target by 2030 offers the most cost-effective path to keeping the 1.5°C Paris limit alive. A 45% renewables target will put the continent on the trajectory towards achieving climate neutrality by 2050.
To reach 2050 climate neutrality, Europe needs a real strategy to address the delays in getting renewable energy projects off the ground. Cumbersome procedures and lack of administrative resources at national level are standing on the way to a higher integration of renewables in our energy system. Other major obstacles are the constraints facing the grid, and the massive investment it will need to support such significant growth of renewables in the next decade.
SolarPower Europe has now put forward the key recommendations to improve the proposed revision of the Renewable Energy Directive (REDIII), and ultimately to reach at least 45% renewable energy by 2030. The position paper underlines the need to maximise the potential of rooftop PV, and boost private procurement of renewables for SMEs. More widely, the recommendations call for an acceleration of economy-wide renewable-based electrification for all sectors and supporting the use of renewable hydrogen for hard to abate sectors, when electrification is not a suitable option.
Walburga Hemetsberger, CEO of SolarPower Europe, said, “We must fast-track the energy transition, targetting 45% renewable energy in Europe by 2030 to meet the 1.5 °C Paris limit and prevent irreversible changes to our planet’s climate. Increasing the EU’s renewable energy ambition is possible and will shield consumers from high energy prices while stimulating the growth of a domestic solar manufacturing industry. The Fit for 55 package, and the review of the Renewable Energy Directive in particular, will be crucial to fully unlock the EU’s solar potential.”
Hemetsberger continued, “Our COP26 #SolutionSolar social media project has demonstrated the role solar, and our members, have in reducing carbon emissions and protecting our planet. Solar will continue to be crucial tool in the fight against climate change as it prevents over 90% of carbon emissions compared to gas or coal, while creating the most jobs of any energy generation technology.”
Photo: © UK COP26 2021