EU sets 27% renewable energy target

EUROPE: Renewable energies are set to make up 27% of the European-wide electricity market by 2030 after EU leaders agreed on the target in Brussels, Belgium.

EU has set a 27% target for renewables contribution by 2030

The policy framework also includes a 40% reduction of greenhouse emissions and a 27% increase in energy efficiency.

The targets were set as EU-binding. This was a disappointment to many groups, including the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), which had called for the rules to be applied to individual states.

Speaking before this week's summit, Morten Helveg Petersen, vice chair of the European Parliament's energy committee called for binding targets. "I'm in favour of ambitious, and hopefully binding, targets on renewables.

"I think it's so important that we set these ambitious targets now if we are to take all the climate change challenges seriously," he said.

The EU said member states were still able to set "more ambitious national targets" in order to reach the collective 27% goal.

EWEA CEO, Thomas Becker, said: "The 27% target is disappointing and is contrary to the incoming Commission's plans to make Europe the world leader in renewables.

"The EU urgently needs to put in place a legal and regulatory framework for renewable energy for the post-2020 period."

Conversely, the UK's energy secretary Ed Davey welcomed the "highly ambitious EU climate target" and said it was a "historic moment".

A 15% increase in interconnections by 2030 was also agreed by the EU. Becker called it "bewildering" and a "meaningless target" that will fail to promote the development of wind.