The European Commission has outlined its goals for a competitive and low-carbon future EU economy in a proposal of the new EU framework on climate and energy for 2030, with renewable energy playing a key role in the future of European energy production.
The European Council is expected to consider the proposed EU framework on climate and energy at its spring meeting at the end of March.
European Commission President José Manuel Barroso commented that “it is in the EU’s interest to build a job-rich economy that is less dependent on imported energy through increased efficiency and greater reliance on domestically produced clean energy”.
Efficient, renewable energy key in the new Framework on climate and energy
In addition to introducing a new governance system, a greenhouse gas emission reduction of 40% below the 1990 level, and a set of new indicators to ensure a competitive and secure energy system, the new 2030 EU framework on climate and energy presented by the Commission last month also features renewed ambitions for energy efficiency policies and an EU-wide binding target for renewable energy.
The Framework introduces a prescribed European renewable energy target of least 27% in 2030 in order to ensure a transition towards a “competitive, secure and sustainable energy system, driven by a more market-oriented approach with enabling conditions for emerging technologies”.
It will be aided by improved energy efficiency, the role of which in the 2030 framework will be further considered in a review of the Energy Efficiency Directive due to be concluded later this year.
The binding renewables target would not be translated into national targets through EU legislation, leaving European countries fee to transform their energy systems in line with national preferences.
A more European approach
As we have written before, a common energy framework that would satisfy the ever-increasing European need for energy, mitigate the rising energy prices and optimise the Union’s energy network development is at the core of EU policy and is a necessity of future European energy development and supply, with renewable energy at the very heart of this necessity.
The production and promotion of energy from renewable sources has long since been perceived as a means of addressing the EU energy import dependency and the greenhouse gas emissions. This production, however, is not that simple.
In Aphaia’s white paper on the role of renewable energy in an EU integrated energy market we analysed the current situation regarding renewable energy growth, and wrote of the technological challenges and infrastructure developments at the EU level, as well as future considerations for renewable energy penetration in the internal market.
It is not only investment and technological developments, but also a more European approach towards energy market integration that is essential to handle the present challenges to renewable energy growth. A combination of more evident policies, support schemes and improved research needs to be put in place in a coordinated way so as to contribute for achieving a more competitive, sustainable and secure energy policy in Europe beyond 2020.