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What the Commission is doing

The European Commission is committed to policies that will contribute to the European Green Deal ambition of achieving carbon-neutrality by 2050. They are also aimed at boosting the internal energy market, making our energy more secure, more sustainable and more affordable. While each EU country chooses its own energy mix, there are common rules that apply to the EU energy market. These range from rules to ensure that the energy supply chain is as efficient and safe as possible – including nuclear safety - to setting targets on energy efficiency, renewables energies and cross-border inter-connections. At consumer level too, the eco-design and energy labelling rules have proven very influential in driving investment in technologies that are more energy-efficient. Energy plays a key role in the Commission’s European Green Deal roadmap, and the Commission published a number of new initiatives and strategies in 2020 that will help decarbonise the energy sector.

Objectives

The EU’s energy policies cover a broad range of topics broadly aimed at accelerating and facilitating the transition away from fossil fuels towards clean energy technologies in a way that no one is left behind. Until now, policy has been formulated on the threefold objectives of achieving a more secure, more sustainable and more affordable energy system at EU level. With the European Green Deal, the Commission’s main objective is to focus on achieving carbon-neutrality by 2050. Based on this broad longer-term ambition, the Commission published strategies in 2020 on

  • offshore renewable energy
  • renovation wave
  • energy system integration
  • hydrogen
  • methane

Following the political commitment to reduce emissions by 55% by 2030, which is now enshrined in EU law, the Commission is looking to revise EU legislation to achieve this ambition – building on the concepts outlined in 2020. These include legislative proposals for revising the rules on renewables, energy efficiency, and the energy performance of buildings, and moves to encourage the decarbonisation of the gas market, including through clean hydrogen, and measures to address methane emissions.

Targets

In line with the increased ambition under the European Green Deal, which now commits to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels (up from 40%), the EU is now looking at  the following new targets for 2030:

  • Raise the share of renewable energy to 40% of total EU energy consumption (up from 32%)
  • Improve energy efficiency by 36% (final energy consumption) and 39% (primary energy consumption) relative to the 2007 projections of consumption levels without energy efficiency measures (up from 32.5%). This is equivalent to going 9% further than projections made in 2020.
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