Enerdata contributes to a study for the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy
Enerdata co-authors an assessment of the impacts and feasibility of increasing the share of renewables beyond the proposed target of 27% for 2030.
In 2009, the European Parliament adopted its first Climate and Energy package. The text implemented three binding targets to achieve by 2020: a 20% greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction, a 20% improvement in energy efficiency, and a 20% share of renewable energy sources (RES) in final energy demand. With 2020 now approaching, procedures to design a 2030 framework are under way. Back in 2014, the closely monitored progress of the portion of energy consumed from RES indicated that the EU was on track to meet its goal, RES shares having almost doubled in a few years. Thus, in 2016, the European Commission submitted a proposal to raise the RES target to 27% of final energy demand. The European Parliament (EP), however, favoured a more ambitious goal, encouraged by the Paris Agreement. In early January, the EP backed a proposal for binding targets of 35% RES shares in 2030.
A higher RES share target is ambitious in terms of grid management and infrastructure, which is why the EP’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) has requested a study to assess the impacts and feasibility of such a proposal.
Edited by the Directorate General for Internal Policies, the document was co-authored by Enerdata, the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovations Research, and SQ Consult. It reviews several studies and models measuring the effects of a 30 to 35% RES share on various aspects of society, including the economy (growth, employment, gross domestic product), the energy sector (energy system costs, investments, fuel imports), and health (GHG emissions, general health costs).
The study concludes that, from a cost perspective, a 30-35% RES by 2030 target is a feasible objective, as:
- the impact of a higher RES share on employment, GDP and health are projected to be limited but positive,
- imports of fossil fuel and GHG emissions are both projected to decrease,
- low or no increase in overall energy system costs is expected, with some studies reporting cost reductions.
It also issues the following recommendations:
- the electric system adequacy needs to be closely monitored,
- targets for GHG reduction, RES and energy efficiency need to be coordinated,
- industrial competitiveness and energy poverty need to be taken into consideration when crafting policies and regulations,
- additional modelling should be used to fully assess the costs and benefits of higher RES target.