Last June, ministers for energy in the EU agreed a binding renewable energy target of 32% by 2030, up from the previous goal of 27%. But how possible is this ambitious target to be reached?
This week, wind power in the UK reached record highs. Windfarms supplied third of UK’s electricity with output hitting 14.9GW high. Blustery weather has increased wind output in the past few years, with National Grid reporting thousands of wind turbines were the UK’s first source of power across Wednesday and Thursday, at about 32% generation. It is worth mentioning that gas power stations are usually top.
In France, European Commission approved 600€ million in public support for innovative solar power installations. The measure is designed to encourage the production of electricity from renewable ways. The selected installations will receive support in the form of a feed-tariff or of a premium on top of the market for a period of 20 years.
The revised energy target includes plans for a 2023 review on whether the target should be bumped even higher.
In 2016, around 17% of EU energy consumption was from renewables, when in the UK was only on about 9%. Until now, Sweden is the winning country at the Europe’s renewable energy race, as 53.8% of the consuming energy comes from renewable sources.
Even though, there are signs that things are getting better with the renewable energy, an article published at Reuters, presents a different angle of the story. According to the annual report of EEA on EU efforts on its renewables and energy efficiency targets, rising energy consumption, particularly in transport, is to blame for the slowdown. Renewable energy, such as wind and solar, accounted for a 17.4 % share of gross final energy consumption in the EU last year, according to the EEA’s preliminary data, up from 17.0 percent in 2016.
This indicates that the EU remains on track to reach its target of a renewables share of 20% by 2020, although the report said the pace of growth had slowed.
Yesterday, was announced that two renewable energy schemes, set to benefit Blaenau Gwent and Caerphilly, are to receive £9.5 million in EU funding. The £14.4 million generation storage consumption supply (GSCS), will provide revenue-saving opportunities at sites in Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire.
Based at Wales’ first community-owned solar farm, the innovative scheme aims to create a larger local community energy model to support many more communities across Wales.
Finance secretary and presumptive First Minister Mark Drakeford said: "This investment is another positive example of how the Welsh Government is supporting innovative projects using EU funding and highlights the importance of securing replacement funding for Wales from the UK Government when we leave the EU.
Everyone would agree, that the investments that have been mentioned are at the right direction for fulfilling the EU targets. The major problem for the accomplishment of the target is the huge differences between the European countries regarding their dependence from renewable energy. There should be a more coordinating plan for the whole of European countries and not a disparate one for every country.