Solar park in Italy. Author: Solar Farm - Solar energy power plants. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic
Oct 24, 2014 - The European Council last night agreed on a renewable energy target of at least 27% for the whole European Union (EU) in 2030, the lowest proposal on the table over the past several months.
There will be no binding targets for member states, though the latter are free to set “more ambitious national targets” and support them, according to the announcement from Thursday. The final text includes a "flexibility clause" allowing the European Council to again discuss the 2030 targets after the UN Climate Change Conference in Warsaw near the end of 2015.
Many industry organisations were left disappointed by the 27% renewable share goal, which has been attacked as “not ambitious” enough. After this target was mentioned by the European Commission (EC) in January 2014, many associations and even the European Parliament called for a higher percentage and individual targets for member states.
The 2030 climate and energy policy framework will also include a 40% greenhouse gas emissions reduction target, based on 1990 levels. It is to be achieved collectively by the EU in “the most cost-effective manner possible”. Also, the European Council endorsed an energy efficiency goal of at least 27%, lower than the previously planned 30%. The package also includes a fourth target which envisages reaching an electricity interconnection level of 15% between members states.