€200 billion saved with more ambitious EU renewables target

  • London

  • 7 December 2022

Analysis by energy think tank Ember shows that adopting a 45% renewable energy target rather than 40% would slash EU gas imports in half and save €43 billion euros in gas costs in 2030. Across the period from 2025 to 2030 this could amount to an estimated €200 billion in additional savings.

Next week, energy ministers will vote on raising the EU renewable energy target from 40% to 45% by 2030. REPowerEU, the new ambitious plan to rapidly cut Russian gas, assumes 118 billion cubic metres of gas imports in 2030 compared to 236 bcm in the ‘Fit for 55’ MIX scenario. Total installed renewable energy capacity will increase from 1067 GW to 1236 GW, with wind and solar doing the heavy lifting.

The analysis by Ember applies Dutch Title Transfer Facility forward prices to estimate gas cost savings. Based on current forecast gas prices in 2030, gas imports would cost €86 billion in 2030 with the 40% target, tumbling to €43 billion with 45%. Extrapolating back, the higher target could achieve potential savings of €200 billion between 2025 and 2030.

More ambition, more savings

The analysis shows that the savings increase further with even more ambitious EU renewable energy commitments. As calls grow from industry and civil society for a 50% renewables target to align with the Paris Agreement, the analysis by Ember shows that a 50% target would help avoid €48 billion in gas costs in 2030, compared to a 40% target. 

Just one small step up for renewables would see a giant fall in gas imports. Europe has already made great progress towards ditching its fossil gas addiction, it cannot stumble near the finish line. The EU must seize this opportunity to go the extra mile. The benefits of additional investment far outweigh the costs of insufficient ambition.

Sarah Brown Ember, senior analyst

A 40% renewable target for the EU for 2030 is outdated - it was put on the table in summer 2021, before the Russian invasion of Ukraine and before the energy crisis. A minimum 45% target is the only direction of travel for strengthening European energy security and delivering our climate goals. It's very concerning to us that a less ambitious option is even on the table.

Walburga Hemetsberger SolarPower Europe, CEO

Italy relies heavily on gas. A reduction in consumption not only would lower the gas bills, but would also trigger lower power prices for most electricity sold.

Michele Governatori ECCO, Power & Gas Lead