To fight climate crisis, the EU needs at least 45% renewables target by 2030

Associations, Industries, City networks and scientists say “ YES to 45% RES”


The IPCC has warned that we are entering code red for humanity: 2°C warming will be exceeded within this century unless we make deep reductions in GHG emissions. We need to act now to accelerate the clean energy transition: an at least 45% renewable energy target will ensure the EU meets its international climate commitments.

While through the European Green Deal the European Union is making important progress, more ambition is needed. The 40% renewable energy target by 2030 proposed by the European Commission is a step in the right direction, but we must go further and faster. A 40% renewable target is incompatible with the EU’s 2030 GHG reduction target and the Paris Agreement commitment to limit temperature rise to below 1.5 C.

We are calling for an at least 45% renewable energy target by 2030 to meet our Paris Agreement commitments and avert the most dangerous effects of climate change. It is the most cost-efficient pathway to climate neutrality and would ensure the EU’s 55% GHG emission reduction target is met, in line with the 1.5 Paris Agreement scenario, according to LUT University. 

An at least 45% renewable energy target is within reach and can be met through effective implementation of the EU’s Clean Energy Package and the introduction of policies reflecting the European Green Deal ambitions.  The renewable energy directive amendment is a key opportunity to unlock the full potential for renewable-based electrification of all end-use sectors, renewable heating and cooling, mobility, and renewable hydrogen to decarbonise our economies.

High-impact measures that can make a real difference include:

  • Taking action to accelerate permitting of renewable energy projects and identifying degraded and urban land suitable to develop renewable energy projects.
  • Ensuring smart grids, electrolysers and non-wire alternatives are deployed to enable higher shares of renewable energy and the achievement of climate neutrality by 2050.
  • Boosting private procurement of renewable energy and harmonising risk mitigation frameworks.
  • Providing attractive remuneration schemes for renewable energy projects, including renewable energy communities and prosumers.
  • Consolidating Europe’s leadership position in renewable innovation and manufacturing.
  • Ensuring a level playing field for all renewable technologies and establishing an internal market for renewable heat and renewable hydrogen.

The pathway towards an at least 45% renewable energy target is a path of democratized energy with community-led renewable projects and empowered consumers, clean industrial leadership, and sustainable job creation. In just a couple of years, renewable energy has evolved dramatically to become the most affordable source of energy. Moreover, by setting a 45% renewable energy target ambition, the EU will boost the technological leadership of its domestic renewable energy industry, improve security of supply, save money from fossil energy imports, and ensure we build back better, with the potential for the renewable energy sector to create over 1.5 million full-time jobs by 2030, namely thanks to the solar and geothermal value-chains in the EU.

A recent study[1] by YouGov commissioned by the European Climate Foundation that mapped public attitudes to wind and solar in ten European countries, has revealed strong support of citizens for more renewable energy projects, as well as for the direct involvement of people with solar and wind energy generation.

Europe’s fully renewable energy future is within reach, and with it the promise of a sustainable, competitive, and climate-neutral economy delivering millions of green jobs. Increasing our 2030 renewable target to at least 45% is the first necessary chapter of this success story.


[1] https://www.rescoop.eu/news-and-events/news/european-citizens-want-ownership-of-wind-and-solar-projects-in-their-neighborhood.

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Publication date

08/12/2021

Related legislative initiative

EU Renewable Energy Policy