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EU Considers Higher Renewables Goal To Shift From Russian Energy

The European Commission is considering whether a 45-percent share of renewable energy by 2030 would be achievable for the European Union, up from a previous target of 40 percent, as the bloc is looking to free itself from dependence on Russian fossil fuels.

"We are working on it full speed to take account, first of all the proposal of going from 40% to 45%, but also in the context of higher energy prices," Mechthild Wörsdörfer, Deputy Director General for Green and Just transition at the European Commission, said during a meeting of EU lawmakers on Wednesday, as carried by Reuters.

Last year, the European Commission pushed up the EU-level target of 'at least 32 percent' of renewable energy sources in the overall energy mix to at least 40 percent by 2030, which would be doubling the current renewables share of 19.7 percent in a decade.

After Putin's invasion of Ukraine, the EU has signaled that doubling down on renewables was one way to cut its reliance on Russian oil and gas.

The Commission's REPowerEU plan to make Europe independent from Russian fossil fuels well before 2030 includes diversification of gas supplies, speeding up the roll-out of renewable gases, increasing electricity generation from renewables, and replacing gas in heating and power generation.

"The quicker we switch to renewables and hydrogen, combined with more energy efficiency, the quicker we will be truly independent and master our energy system," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in early March at the presentation of the plan.

Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, Frans Timmermans said: "Putin's war in Ukraine demonstrates the urgency of accelerating our clean energy transition."

The ambitious 45-percent renewables target by 2030 will depend on future decisions by the EU member states and the European Parliament.

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Industry association WindEurope said earlier this month that while electrification is the most cost-effective way to decarbonize Europe's economy, "this can only happen if power grids are optimised and expanded in a timely manner." Europe needs to double annual investments over the next thirty years to up to US$86.6 billion (80 billion euro) a year to do that, WindEurope adds.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com



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