The EU commission today announced an EU wide legally binding renewable energy target of 27 percent by 2030.
This will not filter down to national level, however, and member states will not have binding targets on renewable energy as we currently have up to 2020.
The EU will also set a target of a 40 percent cut in greenhouse gases by 2030.
The UK lobbied intensively against any national binding renewable energy targets, preferring instead a technology neutral method of lowering carbon emissions. This allows the government to explore other routes such as nuclear and fracking.
Energy secretary Edward Davey said: “Today’s proposals are a step in the right direction towards an ambitious emissions reduction target for Europe. They provide the flexibility to tackle climate change in the most cost-effective way, so that British consumers aren’t paying over the odds to go green. This package backs the green growth agenda I’ve been working for with other European colleagues.
“A 40 percent GHG target for Europe is a good start which the UK fought hard for, and will lead to massive investment in low carbon energy, including many more renewables.
“It’s good news that the Commission has listened to the UK argument that countries must be allowed to decarbonise in the cheapest way possible. However, the UK remains concerned about any renewables target especially as the debate within Parliament and the British green movement has moved on to technology neutral options like a decarbonisation target as the most cost effective and practical way of fighting climate change.”