The 32% renewable energy objective for 2030 agreed at the EU level in June was a good result, says Jeppe Kofod, but it’s still insufficient to live up to the Paris accord, he told EURACTIV in an interview, setting out the agenda for clean energy battles in the years ahead.
Jeppe Kofod is a Danish Member of the European Parliament and Vice-Chair of the Socialist and Democrats (S&D) group. On 20 June, he was appointed acting president of the European Forum for Renewable Energy Sources (EUFORES) after his predecessor, MEP Claude Turmes, was appointed to a ministerial position in Luxembourg. Kofod spoke to EURACTIV’s energy and environment editor, Frédéric Simon.
What was your impression when the deal was struck on the Renewable Energy Directive last June? The 32% objective is higher than the 27% target initially tabled by the Commission so I suppose you must have been happy?
I was happy to see that we managed to move the target up quite a bit, despite resistance in the Council. That was good. But I wouldn’t hide that, if I see the challenge we have in our climate policy to live up to the Paris accord, I think we should have done much more.
So 35% or even more than that?
35% at least. If you look at the technology aspect, renewables are much cheaper to produce today than when the Commission tabled its proposal [in November 2016]. Wind turbines are more efficient, they run longer and produce more electricity than before. So not only do the costs come down but at the same time, the quality and the efficiency of renewables increases drastically.
This is why I think we should have done more. But given the political context and the reluctance of the Council, I think it was a good result. So I’m proud but I’m not satisfied.
That said, the fight continues. There is a review clause in the directive, and on top of that when the EU looks at its mid-century strategy, the Commission needs to review the modelling that it is using, to update it so that it reflects the real costs of renewables, which are much lower than before, as well as the efficiency, which has improved.