- The ‘Yes to 45% RES’ Campaign relaunches with an open letter to the Council of the EU, calling for a 45% target as a long-term solution to tackle energy bills and strengthen energy security.
- The letter is signed by 12 energy-related and city associations, as well as 5 leading climate scientists, and follows the launch of the campaign in December 2021.
- With European Aluminium, the first energy intensive and upstream supply chain joins the ‘Yes to 45% RES’ Campaign, which advocates for a 45% – or higher – renewable target for the EU for 2030.
Wednesday 7th September, Brussels: Yesterday evening, 12 energy-related and city associations reiterated their support for a 45% renewable target for the EU by 2030, calling on the Council of the European Union to match the ambition of the European Commission and European Parliament.
According to modelling from LUT University, 45% renewables in the final energy mix in 2030 is the most cost-efficient way to reach the EU’s 55% greenhouse gas emissions reduction target, and would put the continent on track to deliver on the 1.5° Paris Agreement scenario.
At a relaunch event in Brussels, which featured a keynote addresses from Hildegard Bentele MEP, and Ditte Juul Jørgensen, Director-General of DG ENER, campaign signatories gathered to underline the importance of a 45% renewable target in the current geopolitical and economic context. The event, co-organised by SolaRPower Europe and European Aluminium and attended by over 300 participants, follows the European Commission’s REPowerEU proposals in May 2022, when the 45% target was put forward to alleviate Europe’s dependency on Russian gas.
In a video message shown during the event, DG ENER Director-General, Ditte Juul Jørgensen, said: “We are committed to eliminating our dependence on Russian fossil fuels as quickly as we can. Recent events have confirmed that renewables are not only beneficial for providing more sustainable energy, but they also play a role in making our energy supply more affordable and more secure across the EU. We need to move even faster, and that is why we have proposed that we increase our European 2030 renewables target to at least 45%.”
As the French Presidency of the Council of the EU came to an end in June 2022, the Council was only able to adopt a 40% renewables target. Later this month, on Tuesday 13 September, the European Parliament is expected to adopt a position on 45% renewables at the Strasbourg plenary session, however, paving the way for a higher political commitment to the faster phase-out of fossil-fuel dependency.
Walburga Hemetsberger, CEO of SolarPower Europe, said: “We are in times of crisis: the Russian war in Ukraine and astronomical energy prices felt across Europe demonstrates that renewable energy is security and fossil fuel dependency is vulnerability. The European Commission and Parliament have already adopted, or will soon adopt, a 45% goal for Europe for 2030. This winter, it is crucial that European governments make the right choice and support a 45% renewable target for our people, security, and climate.”
Paul Voss, Director General of European Aluminium, said: “If we are serious about ending Europe’s third-country dependencies and reaching the 45% RES target, we must boost the domestic manufacturing of renewable energy technologies and their upstream supply chains. European decision makers must set the course for an affordable and secure green energy supply for the long-term now. For that, we also need a reliable and responsibly managed supply of strategic raw materials like aluminium. Without, the green energy transition and achieving the EU’s climate-neutrality objective will not be possible.”
April 2020 – In partnership with LUT University, SolarPower Europe publish 100% Renewable Europe Study finding that 45% renewable target for 2030 is the most cost-effective path to climate neutrality by 2050.
July 2021 – SolarPower Europe issue an op-ed in Euractiv on why the European Green Deal needs a 45% renewable energy target. (The European Commission set a 40% target in July 2021 – full history of EU renewable targets here)
December 2021 – SolarPower Europe – along with other renewable energy and city associations, with the endorsement of IPCC scientists, issue a public letter calling for a minimum 45% renewable target for the EU by 2030.
February 2022 – The unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine drastically impacts the European energy landscape.
March 2022 – Key European Parliament political group, the EPP, endorses a 45% target.
May 2022 – European Commission up their proposed renewable target to 45% as part of
June 2022 – As the French Presidency of the European Council comes to a close, EU Energy Ministers agree on only a 40% renewables target.
July 2022 – Key European Parliament Committee endorses the 45% target.
September 2022 – European Parliament Plenary session expected to formally adopt a 45% renewable target.
Autumn 2022 – With two co-legislators (the European Parliament and European Commission) on board with a 45% target, negotiations with the third co-legislator – the European Council’s - must uphold the necessary level of ambition.