EU plans to shift to renewable energy by 2027, says coal to be used a little longer

The European Commission has announced its commitment to attain sustainable and renewable energy by 2022, according to a document the Commission published on Wednesday.

The REPowerEU plan details Europe’s “clean energy transition.” The document emphasizes energy savings and its importance and local energy sources. While the transition is ongoing, Europe might have to utilize their existing coal-fired power plants longer than expected. There’s no definite date on when they’ll stop using these facilities — only that it will happen ‘longer’ compared with what was ‘initially expected.’

The Commission sets 210 billion euros as budget ($220.87 billion) for the plan, is set to start this year and is bound to be completed by 2027. The Commission also changed the current target of their renewable share of energy from 40%, to 45% by 2030.

Denmark, Germany and Netherlands mutual commitment to find renewable energy sources was announced on the same day. The three countries aim for a combined target of 65 gigawatts from offshore winds by 2030 with an ultimate goal being 150GW capacity by 2050.

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine has caused major issues for the European countries, that rely heavily on Russia as their source. The lack in oil supply means that there would have to find new sources for gas and fuel. As per the Commission, they would need at least 1.5 to 2 billion euros to cover up for the demand.

“Shifting away from Russian fossil fuels will also require targeted investments for the security of supply in gas infrastructure and very limited changes to oil infrastructure alongside large-scale investments in the electricity grid and an EU-wide hydrogen backbone,” the Commission explained.

The Commission also said, “In parallel, some of the existing coal capacities might also be used longer than initially expected, with a role for nuclear power and domestic gas resources too.”

Frans Timmermans, the climate chief for the Commission, admitted that the countries might have to be use coal “a bit longer,” while mentioning its negative effects on emissions.

“If we can actually do what I say — reduce our energy consumption in combination with a speedier introduction of renewables — we will bring down our emissions even quicker than before,” Timmermans explained. “Coal has a substantial effect on the environment, with Greenpeace describing it as “the dirtiest, most polluting way of producing energy.”

However, the European Union justified their move explaining that they had no other option since there are increasing demands and the supply chain has been influenced by global events.