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On Wednesday, the European Commission announced its commitment to attaining sustainable and renewable energy by 2022-2027.
The REPowerEU plan details Europe’s “clean energy transition.” The document emphasizes energy savings and its importance and local energy sources. However, the Commission has announced that they will be utilizing their existing coal power plants for longer than expected in order to cover up the increasing demands of consumers. There is no definite date on when these facilities might stop operating or close down completely; only that EU announced its extended usage.
The Commission sets 210 billion euros as the budget ($220.87 billion) for the plan, which 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.
The countries of Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands have announced their intention to find more renewable energy sources. The three governments plan on achieving a combined target of 65 Gigawatts from offshore winds by 2030, with an additional 150 GW worth planned in 2050.
What are the problems
Russia remains the largest supplier of oil in Europe, and its supply has been cut after the country’s invasion of Ukraine. According to the Commission, an estimated 1.5 to 2 billion euros is needed to secure sources that would meet the demands of consumers.
“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 said.
The Commission further explained, “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.”
The climate chief for the Commission, Frans Timmermans, has admitted that coal might have to be used “a bit longer,” but he cited 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,” he 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 said they had no other option considering that there are increasing demands and the supply chain has been adversely affected by global events.
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