The European Commission (EC) said on Tuesday that there is “uncertainty” about whether Spain and six other member states of the European Union will reach their renewable energy targets by 2020, which on average should reach 20% of green energy by the end of the current decade.
“For seven Member States, there is some uncertainty about whether they will achieve renewable energy goals by 2020,” says the EU executive in the fourth progress report on the Energy Union, which analyzes energy efficiency, the progress of renewable energy or the industry of electric batteries in the EU.
The European Commission refers in particular to Austria, Germany, Latvia, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia and Spain, the latter with a target of at least 20% of final energy consumption by 2020 and a record of 17.5% at closing of 2017, according to Eurostat data.
The EC report, however, does not specifically analyze country by country. It is indeed limited to taking stock of progress in energy matters since the Energy Union was launched in 2014, with the stated objective of being “safe, affordable and respectful with the climate ” within the framework of a more integrated market.
“Europe has put in place the most ambitious legislative framework in the world on climate and energy, and we have agreed on the regulations to achieve our 2030 renewable energy targets, with higher goals for renewable energy (32%) and energy efficiency (32.5%), “said the European Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action, Miguel Arias Cañete.
The report is accompanied by an annex that calls for more efforts to create a European electric battery industry for the EU to reduce its dependence on competitors, especially with the development of the electric vehicle, where the battery represents around 40% of the value of Cars.
However, there is still “a long way” to go and it is necessary to continue “deploying renewable energy through the EU” and strive to “save more energy“, added the euro commissioner, who weeks ago presented, as a legacy, a roadmap for the EU to be carbon neutral by 2050, in line with the Paris Climate Agreement.
The EU, whose economy grew by 58% between 1990 and 2017 while its polluting emissions were reduced by 22%, has a general objective of reducing its polluting emissions by 20% in 2020 compared to 1990 values and is “in a credible path “to achieve that goal, the report adds.
However, the study notes that “efforts must be intensified” especially in energy efficiency, taking into account that after a drop in energy consumption between 2014 and 2017 the same seems to have rebounded “in recent years.”
Another tool to limit the emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is the European emissions trading system known as ETS, which puts a price on the carbon emitted and which significantly impacts heavy industries, power generation plants and the aviation sector. This ETS valued by the European Commission as “robust” has been renewed for the 2021-2030 decade.
The report argues that the Energy Union has favored greater integration of the energy market in the EU, which has set interconnection goals of 10% by 2020 and 15% by 2030.
Brussels contends that there has been greater price convergence at cross-border points and a joint system of capacity mechanisms compatible with single market rules and decarbonisation objectives.
The gas market has also advanced, so that any gas pipeline that reaches the EU must comply with EU energy regulations (although not until the pipelines reach a community border, as in the case of the Nord Stream II that sends Russian gas to Germany).
The report is accompanied by an annex that calls for more efforts towards the creation of a European electric battery industry for the EU to reduce its dependence on competitors, especially with the development of the electric vehicle, where the battery represents around 40% of the value of cars.
Hydraulic dams, currently accounting for 90% of the EU’s energy storage capacity, will be surpassed by electric batteries by 2050, according to estimates by the European Commission, with an increasing demand of some 400 GWh by 2028 which could generate between three and four million additional jobs.