On Oct. 23, European Council leaders gathered in Brussels, Belgium, and set four targets for the European Union's (EU) 2030 climate and energy policy framework.
The European Council agreed to:
- a binding EU target of at least 40% less greenhouse-gas emissions by 2030, compared to 1990;
- set a binding target of at least 27% of renewable energy used at EU level;
- obtain an energy efficiency increase of at least 27%; and
- reach an electricity interconnection target of 15% between members states and pushing forward important infrastructure projects.
However, the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), panned the meeting's outcome and characterized renewable energy targets as showing ‘a lack of ambition’ when it comes to securing Europe's energy security.
‘The 27% target is disappointing and is contrary to the incoming Commission's plans to make Europe the world leader in renewables,’ says Thomas Becker, EWEA's CEO. ‘The EU urgently needs to put in place a legal and regulatory framework for renewable energy for the post-2020 period.’
Further, EWEA states, uncertainty remains over the enforceable nature of national renewable energy objectives as member states are themselves expected to define their commitments to collectively deliver on the EU-wide objective.
For the wind industry, this clarity is crucial with financiers needing long-term regulatory stability and visibility from national governments, EWEA notes.
‘The interconnectivity target is bewildering given the current political challenges Europe is facing. We're in the midst of an energy crisis with Russia holding member states to ransom over gas supplies. Yet Heads of State see fit to trot out a meaningless target that will do nothing to improve connection in the Iberian Peninsula or the security of supply in the Baltic States, let alone allow an internal energy market to develop.’
The European Council, which meets twice every six months, provides the EU with development ideas and defines the general political directions and priorities. It does not, however, exercise legislative functions.