Renewable electricity generation has doubled since 2005, having a positive impact on both air and water pollution, with an overall mitigation effect on climate change, Europe Environment Agency study shows. But even meeting the EU’s not ambitious enough 55% climate target requires its power sector to switch to renewables faster.
According to the newest Eurostat data, at EU level, the share of gross final energy consumption from renewable sources reached 19.7% in 2019 from 18.9% in 2018 (EU-27). Despite continued progress in the share of renewables in the EU’s energy consumption, current speed will not be enough to allow the bloc to meet its at least 55% emissions reduction target, as the EEA’s study finds.
The director of Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, Wendel Trio, said: “Strongly reducing energy consumption and substantially increasing renewable energy are a must for a net-zero energy system and this study underlines the benefits of this transition for our climate and our economy, while proposing ways to mitigate potential negative environmental impacts of renewables.”
“Renewable projects are set to grow, hence we need the right framework to steer investments in renewables in the coming years while ensuring that we opt for the most sustainable deployment of renewables in Europe. Climate, energy and biodiversity policies should reinforce each other,” Trio added.
Already in the next ten years renewable electricity generation should at least triple, in order for the EU to stick to its commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement and limit temperature rise to 1.5°C. This should lead to renewables covering 50% of gross final energy consumption in 2030 and 100% in 2040.
Cristina Dascalu, communication coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org