EU Unveils €300 Billion Plan to Scale Green Energy Transition, Cut Reliance on Russian Fossil Fuel
The European Commission introduced its REPowerEU Plan today, outlining its strategy to rapidly reduce its reliance on Russian fossil fuels in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The strategy includes plans to significantly accelerate the deployment of renewable and clean energy capacity, diversify energy supplies, and ramp energy efficiency initiatives, and proposes additional investments of €210 billion over the next five years.
The Commission’s investment proposals through 2030 under the new plan include €86 billion for renewables, €27 billion for key hydrogen infrastructure, €37 billion to increase biomethane production, €56 billion for energy efficiency and heat pumps, and €41 billion to adapt industry to use less fossil fuels.
The new plan calls for a “massive scaling-up and speeding-up of renewable energy in power generation, industry, buildings and transport,” in order to promote energy independence, boost the green transition, and reduce prices over time. Under the EU’s “Fit for 55”package launched last year, the Commission had set a target for the EU to produce 40% of energy from renewable sources by 2030. The new plan proposes raising the 2030 target to 45%.
The plan outlines a series of initiatives in order to reach its new renewable energy target, including launching a new EU Solar Strategy aimed at doubling solar PV capacity by 2025 and installing 600GW by 2030, a legal obligation requiring the installation of solar panels on new public and commercial buildings and new residential buildings, and initiatives to speed up permitting for major renewables projects.
The strategy also includes the EU’s recently announced goals to scale the production and use of renewable hydrogen, including targets to reach 10 million tons of renewable hydrogen domestic production and import an additional 10 million tons by 2030. The Commission stated that it will also publish two new Delegated Acts on the definition and production of renewable hydrogen, ensuring that production leads to net decarbonization.
The plan also raises the EU’s energy efficiency target to 13% by 2030, from the prior Fit by 55 goal of 9%, through the promotion of behavioural changes, communication campaigns targeting households and industry, and the use fiscal measures to encourage energy savings.