EU unveils REPowerEU plan to wean itself off Russian gas


EU unveils REPowerEU plan to wean itself off Russian gas


The European Commission has presented on Wednesday the REPowerEU plan, which aims to reduce reliance on Russian fossil fuels while hastening the transition to renewable energy.

The executive arm proposes to raise the share of renewable energy from 40% to 45% by 2030, requiring an additional investment of 210 billion euros by 2027.

According to a news release from the European Commission, there is a double urgency to overhaul Europe’s energy system, including reducing the EU’s reliance on Russian fossil fuels and addressing the climate problem.

To meet the REPowerEU plan’s goal, the commission is proposing a package of measures, including energy savings, diversification of energy suppliers, and expedited deployment of renewable energy to replace fossil fuels.

The commission’s proposal to raise the renewables target to 45% includes new initiatives and strategic plans. One of these is the EU Solar Strategy, which aims to double solar capacity by 2025 and install 600 GW by 2030. The plan also proposes a rooftop solar program, which would include a phased-in legislative obligation to install solar panels on new public, commercial, and residential buildings.

The commission also proposed a target of 10 million tonnes of domestic renewable hydrogen output and 10 million tonnes of imported hydrogen by 2030 to replace natural gas, coal, and oil in difficult-to-decarbonize industries and transportation sectors. The commission has put aside 200 million euros for research to facilitate hydrogen projects.

According to the commission, legislative measures requiring EU member states to diversify their gas supply over time will also be examined.

Achieving the goals will need an additional 210 billion euros in investment by 2027, but reducing Russian fossil fuel imports will save the EU over 100 billion euros per year, according to the statement.

The commission also suggests improving long-term energy efficiency measures, including raising the binding energy efficiency objective under the Fit for 55 package of the European Green Deal from 9% to 13%. According to a previous proposal, natural gas usage in the EU is to be decreased by 30% by 2030, with energy efficiency measures accounting for one-third of the savings.

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