MEPs on the European Parliament energy committee want renewable energy
targets to be more ambitious than the proposal put forward by the EU
The Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) saw MEPs debate 1,300
amendments to the European Commission’s initial proposal for a new
directive on promoting renewable energy sources. ITRE is the lead
Parliament committee on the draft directive, which is a key piece of the
EU’s “energy union” package of legislation presented in November 2016.
Despite the huge amount of changes suggested by European lawmakers from
across the political spectrum, a clear consensus emerged in favour of
increasing the ambition of the Commission’s proposed renewable energy targets.
Rapporteur José Blanco López (Socialists and Democrats) insisted that “we
need an agreement that goes further than 27%” target for 2030, arguing
“This is a social issue.” Europe needs a new directive that “won’t be
immediately obsolete,” explained the politician from the Spanish Socialist
Renewable energy made up nearly nine-tenths of new power added to Europe’s
electricity grids last year, in a sign of the continent’s rapid shift away
from fossil fuels.
For 2020, individual EU member states were handed legally binding targets
at national level in order to meet the EU-wide threshold of 20% renewables.
But this is no longer the case with the 27% for 2030, which is EU-wide and
hasn’t been broken down into national objectives – which in any event will
not be formally binding on the UK because of Brexit.
The committee is scheduled to vote on the directive report on 28 November 2017.