85% of people polled believe that the EU should reduce its dependency on Russian gas and oil as soon as possible.
84% agree that Russia’s aggression against Ukraine makes it more urgent for EU Member States to invest in renewable energy (Source: Flash Eurobarometer 506: EU’s response to the war in Ukraine, 5 May 2022.).
Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine has massively disrupted the world’s energy system. Therefore, in March 2022, EU leaders agreed in the European Council to phase out Europe’s dependency on Russian energy imports as soon as possible.
REPowerEU is about rapidly reducing our dependence on Russian fossil fuels by fast forwarding the clean transition and joining forces to achieve a more resilient energy system and a true Energy Union.
This REPowerEU plan puts forward an additional set of actions to: save energy; diversify supplies; quickly substitute fossil fuels by accelerating Europe’s clean energy transition; smartly combine investments and reforms.
REPowerEU builds on the Fit for 55 proposals tabled last year and calls for their speedy adoption. It does not modify the headline ambition of achieving at least -55% net greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and climate neutrality by 2050, but it does propose a legal amendment to raise the targets therein for energy efficiency and renewable energy to 13% and 45% respectively.
How will REPowerEU support renewable energy deployment?
Accelerating renewable energy deployment is one of the main pillars of REPowerEU. The plan includes a proposal to raise the 2030 target for the share of renewables in final energy consumption from 40% to 45% in an amendment to the Renewable Energy Directive.
- The package on permitting of renewable energy projects consists of a targeted amendment of the Renewable Energy Directive to speed up permitting procedures while minimising potential risks to the environment by identifying ‘go to’ areas that are particularly suitable for renewables.
- The EU solar energy strategy provides a comprehensive overview of the opportunities and challenges to drastically accelerate the deployment of solar power across the EU. It puts forward a target of over 320 GW of newly installed solar photovoltaic capacity by 2025, over twice today’s level, and almost 600 GW by 2030.
To achieve that, the Strategy presents three concrete initiatives:
- A European Solar Rooftop Initiative anchored around a legally binding EU solar rooftop obligation to ensure accelerated installation of solar panels on buildings;
- an EU large-scale skills partnership to develop the necessary skilled workforce to produce, install and maintain these panels;
- and an EU Solar Industry Alliance to support the EU industry in expanding the domestic production of PV panels. These initiatives can encourage citizens to engage in the energy transition, either as individual prosumers or via energy communities to self-produce, consume and sell or share renewable energy.
How will REPowerEU support energy savings?
Energy savings are the cheapest, safest and cleanest way to reduce our reliance on fossil fuel imports and cut households’ and companies’ high energy bills in the short and long term by reducing our energy consumption. Together with the REPowerEU plan, the Commission therefore presents an EU Save Energy Communication, to promote immediate energy savings by citizens and businesses through behavioural choices and to strengthen mid- to long-term energy efficiency measures.
The implementation of the Fit for 55 package would lower total European gas consumption by 30% (equivalent to 100 bcm) by 2030. More than one third of this would come from meeting the EU energy efficiency target put forward in the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) recast proposal. To fully meet the REPowerEU objectives, the Commission proposes to increase from 9% to 13% the binding target in the Directive. In addition, the Commission invites the co-legislators in the European Parliament and the Council to consider other improvements to the Fit for 55 package currently under negotiation to boost energy efficiency.
How will REPowerEU support the development of hydrogen production and use?
The REPowerEU Plan prepares the ground for achieving both the increased target of 10 million tonnes of domestic renewable hydrogen production and the new target of 10 million tonnes of renewable hydrogen imports by 2030.
To boost hydrogen demand the Commission calls on co-legislators to increase hydrogen sub-targets under the renewable energy directive and will roll-out carbon contracts for difference under the Innovation Fund.
How will REPowerEU help Ukraine?
- Energy equipment and infrastructure in Ukraine damaged by the war needs to be repaired. The EU, since the beginning of the war is channeling specialised energy equipment from Member States to Ukraine via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. Items Members States cannot deliver will be procured via the Energy Support Fund for Ukraine established by the Energy Community at the request of the Commission.
- To ensure necessary and reliable gas supplies in the coming years, the EU has to increase its gas imports from non-Russian sources.
- We are already working towards a Partnership with Ukraine on renewable gases, including hydrogen and biomethane, that we aim to sign in 2022.
- To ensure nuclear safety, the EU will mobilise the European Instrument for International Nuclear Safety Cooperation to support Ukraine in restoring its nuclear safety capacity in line with the international legal framework.
- In its conclusions of March 2022, the European Council agreed to develop a Ukraine Solidarity Fund, inviting international partners to participate. The European Council called on the Commission to continue to develop technical assistance in order to help Ukraine to implement necessary reforms.
- Ukraine is closely tied with the European Union through the Association Agreement and its Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area. On 28 February 2022, Ukraine applied for EU membership, and it has expressed a strong will to link reconstruction with reforms, including with regard to a clean energy transition, on its European path.
- The successful emergency electricity grid synchronisation with Ukraine and Moldova on 16 March is a major step towards ensuring security of supply. The next political priority is to allow for electricity trade with Continental Europe based on gradual increases of cross-border capacity. This is an important step towards the full integration of Ukraine’s energy market with the EU, for which the EU is providing technical support to ensure the implementation of market reforms.
- For future and comprehensive energy cooperation, the EU will also work with Ukraine to prepare the REPowerUkraine initiative. With it, we want to support Ukraine to ‘rebuild better’ its energy system, with the aim to decarbonise Ukraine’s energy sector. This will allow not only to strengthen and ensure Ukraine’s energy independence but also channel investments for Ukraine to become a significant exporter of renewable energy. The focus should be on energy efficiency, renewables, renewable hydrogen, biomethane and future-proof infrastructure. The EU will support this process both financially and technically.