The pace of clean technology rollout is set to put the EU at 45% renewable energy by 2030, according to new analysis from energy think tank Ember.
That exceeds the 40% target originally set in the Fit-for-55 package. The European Climate Foundation summarizes what the Fit-for-55 package is:
Released in two batches in July and December 2021, the “Fit for 55” package includes drafts of EU climate and energy legislation to underpin the bloc’s political pledge to cut greenhouse-gas emissions by at least 55% in 2030 compared with 1990 levels. This target, a more ambitious one than the previously agreed 40% reduction goal for 2030, is part of the EU’s aim to become climate-neutral by 2050.
Since Fit-for-55 was introduced in Europe in 2021, the capacity growth for clean technologies has ramped up a lot faster than everyone expected.
A surge in solar power leads the boom, with 2030 capacity expected to be at least twice that originally forecast by EU policy. Rooftop solar in particular is showing especially rapid expansion, with huge growth already evident in 2022.
High fossil fuel prices and subsidies in some EU countries have resulted in heat pump deployment being 50% higher – reaching at least 60 million in total – than Fit-for-55 forecasts.
Electric vehicle rollout is expected to outpace Fit-for-55 targets by 30% – that is, the EV fleet is expected to expand to a minimum of 40 million – with record sales last year and newly announced EU policy already increasing momentum.
In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the European Commission’s REPowerEU plan – “the European Commission’s plan to make Europe independent from Russian fossil fuels well before 2030” – proposed raising the bloc’s 2030 renewable energy target from 40% to 45%. That plan had overwhelming support from the European Parliament, but some member states aren’t so keen, so negotiations will likely continue in March.
Elisabeth Cremona, energy and climate data analyst at Ember, said:
A new energy reality has unfolded across Europe since the Fit-for-55 package was presented eighteen months ago. As 40% renewables no longer reflects where we are heading, sticking with the lower target means aiming for failure. With a more realistic 45% target, the EU can align policy with where the markets are already heading, helping the EU respond to this unprecedented moment.
Read more: Renewables will be the top source of global electricity by 2025
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