Originally published on Lenz Blog.
By Karl-Friedrich Lenz
Guardian reports that the European Environmental Agency expects the EU to reach its 2020 target of a 20 percent renewable share.
The bloc’s 2020 target calls for 20% of gross final energy consumption to come from renewable sources, and that number rose to 16.4% in 2015 from 16% in 2014, according to preliminary estimates cited in the report.
This number of 16.4% for 2015 is in contrast to what the EU commission noted in the recent proposal for the renewable energy directive.
There it says on page 2:
The current 2020 framework sets a EU 20% target for energy consumption which relies on legally binding national targets until 2020. National Renewable Energy Action Plans and the biennial monitoring provided for by the Directive 2009/28/EC on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources have been effective in promoting transparency for investors and other economic operators and thereby favoured the rapid deployment increase in the share of renewables from 10.4% in 2007 to 17% in 2015.
“17% in 2015”. Not “16.4%”.
Anyway, getting from 10.4 to 17 in eight years is a yearly increase of 0.825%.
Getting from 20 to 27 in ten years (from 2021 to 2030) in contrast is only 0.7% a year.
So the proposed goal of 27% for the EU in 2030 assumes a slower speed than in the previous decade.
Why? Prices are way down. It should be easier to increase the share with lower prices. And the urgency of global warming requires faster speed, not stepping on the brakes.
Of course, the 27% target for 2030 is not set by the Commission in their recent proposal, but was adopted by the European Council in 2014. And it is only a minimal target. Nothing prevents the EU from achieving more.
One of the most important differences in the new proposal is that there are no national targets left. There is only the EU target of 27%.
I am not sure if that’s a good idea.
Under the present Directive, it is very clear if any Member State fails to pull its weight. What exactly would trigger infringement of the new Directive? Couldn’t any laggard Member State just say that they are doing their best and the failure to achieve 27% is the fault of other Member States?
It might still work, assuming that everybody involved shoots in good faith for the best possible goal. Member States will set their own goals, just like with the Paris Agreement.
Anyway, compared to the present Directive, this seems to be a step away from enforcement and a step towards voluntary efforts, which may or may not happen.
Reprinted with permission.
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