Since 2020, the majority of European Union countries have uplifted their renewable programs and green transition in order to reduce fossil fuel this decade while the energy consumption has increased due to the outbreak, according to researchers.
This is while rising energy expenses along with supply shocks have forced some countries to burn a bigger amount of coal. Ukraine’s war has also driven them to purchase gas from countries other than Russia, which has intensified concerns for battling climate change. However, a study on EU countries' climate policies indicates the course will change sooner or later.
According to think tanks Ember and the Centre for Research and Clean Air, 17 EU member countries, out of 27, have promoted their plans to boost their renewable energy since 2020. If the countries recent plans are attained, they would see 63% of EU’s electricity generated from renewable energy by the year 2030, which is up from 55% of their 2019 policies, said the researchers.
For this, EU’s fossil fuel-based power generation should decrease to 595 terawatt hours (TWh) in 2030, lower than 1,069 TWh in 2021.
Pawel Czyzak, the Ember senior analyst, said European countries won’t return to gas or coal to remain secure, quite the opposite; they are boosting renewables.
This year, Germany and the Netherlands raised their renewable energy targets with countries like Greece, Austria, and Ireland which have not boosted their goals since 2020.
Croatia, Bulgaria, Slovenia and others have planned end date for coal. France has also put forward renewable heating subsidies for homes.
Last month EU offered its own plans to increase investing in renewables and energy savings to get rid of Russian fuels.
EU plans to follow fresh gas operations might weaken the efforts for green campaign, said other analysts nonetheless. This is while many countries have not prioritized investment for green spending since the outbreak.
In this regard, Brian O'Callaghan, lead researcher at Oxford University's Economic Recovery Project, highlighted that countries like China, Australia, and India have devoted fairly small shares to green spending after Covid-19 recovery.