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The European Commission is expected to propose next week a plan for accelerating investment in grids to support the EU’s renewable energy targets, according to a draft of the plan seen by Reuters.
“The backbone of today’s electricity systems, grids are set to become increasingly important as clean energy transitions progress, but they currently receive too little attention,” the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in a report last month.
According to the agency, global annual investments in energy grids need to double to more than $600 billion a year by 2030 if the world is to achieve the national climate and energy goals.
The EU has estimated an investment need of $637 billion (584 billion euros) by 2030, both in transmission and distribution grids, to achieve its targets,
European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson said earlier this year.
The EU plans to boost grid investments with its new plan to be unveiled next week. The proposal will include priority access to EU funding and faster permitting processes granted to 68 electricity projects that will be given the status of “projects of common interest,” according to the draft Reuters has seen.
“Grids need to adapt to a more decentralised, digitalised and flexible electricity system with millions of rooftop solar panels and local energy communities sharing resources,” the draft plan reads.
The EU is sticking to its target to be carbon neutral by 2050. The European Parliament endorsed earlier this year much higher binding renewable energy targets by 2030 by passing the Renewable Energy Directive, a key part of the European Green Deal for the EU to become a carbon-neutral bloc by 2050.
The directive, which needs EU member states approval to become law, raises the targeted share of renewable energy in the EU's energy consumption to 42.5% by 2030, up from a current target of 32%.
To compare, renewable energy represented 21.8% of the energy consumed in the EU in 2021, down from 22.1% in 2020, according to Eurostat.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.