The European Union is considering setting more ambitious targets for its renewable energy capacity expansion as part of its efforts to cut its over-dependency on Russian fossil fuels, according to Frans Timmermans, the Executive Vice President of the European Commission.
The EU has recently released a plan called REPowerEU to detail its energy diversification plans, which includes a requirement for all gas storage operators across Europe to have their facilities filled to at least 90% capacity by October each year, and increase LNG imports, in order to mitigate the impact of supply shortage.
“What we will do in the next couple of weeks is work towards what I call the Repower EU initiative, and as part of that we want to accelerate the energy transition. So in that context we might revisit our targets,” stated Timmermans, implying that this modification will result in increased renewable energy targets for 2030.
The current target share of renewable energy in the EU mix for 2030 is 40%. The EU's net-zero plan calls for a 55% decrease in carbon emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.
Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February, the European Commission suggested a two-thirds reduction in Russian gas imports this year, with plans to phase them out by 2027.
“It is time we tackle our vulnerabilities and rapidly become more independent in our energy choices.” Timmermans remarked in a news statement announcing the proposal.
He went on to say, “Renewables are a cheap, clean, and potentially endless source of energy and instead of funding the fossil fuel industry elsewhere, they create jobs here. Putin's war in Ukraine demonstrates the urgency of accelerating our clean energy transition.”