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EU votes to boost renewable energy targets

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European Union (EU) lawmakers have voted to boost energy efficiency and the use of renewable sources in the next 22 years.

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) said renewable energy sources should account for 35% of total consumption by 2030, up on a 27% target proposed by the European Commission in December. National targets will be set, and member states will be able to deviate from the agreed goal by 10%. 

The EU Parliament also voted in favour of a minimum 35% binding EU energy efficiency target, and a draft law on energy efficiency was approved.

EU rapporteur for renewables – a Parliamentary executive whose work leads this area – Jose Blanco Lopez said: “The European Commission was too timid in its proposal. If Europe wants to fulfil its Paris commitments, to fight climate change and to lead the energy transition we need to do more.

“Parliament was able to achieve a broad consensus for significantly higher 2030 targets.”

It also agreed that 90% of fuel stations on the trans-European road network should be equipped with high power recharging points for electric vehicles by 2022. MEPS will now negotiate binding energy targets with EU ministers. 

Ocean Energy Europe chief executive Rémi Gruet said the vote provided a clear political signal to potential renewable energy investors, and urged member states to agree to the targets.

He said: “Europe is the clear global leader in ocean energy technology and project development. It is vital we capitalise on this advantage to create a new European industry, with a significant home market and global export opportunities.

“A 35% target is the minimum required for Europe to maintain global leadership.”

A total of 492 MEPs voted in favour of the renewable energy legislation, 88 against and there were 107 abstentions. The draft law on energy efficiency was approved by 485 votes to 132, with 58 abstentions. 

 

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