Tech trends put EU on track to reach 45% renewable energy by 2030

  • Brussels

  • 28 February 2023

New analysis from energy think tank Ember finds that the pace of clean technology rollout is set to put the EU at 45% renewable energy by 2030, outpacing the Fit-for-55 target of 40%.

Europe’s energy landscape has changed rapidly since the EU’s Fit-for-55 emissions reduction package was introduced in 2021, with capacity growth for key clean technologies seeing an acceleration far beyond expectations. 

A surge in solar power leads this boom in clean technologies, with capacity in 2030 expected to be at least twice that originally forecast by EU policy. Rooftop solar is expected to show especially rapid expansion, with enormous growth already evident in 2022

Heat pump deployment is expected to be 50% higher than Fit-for-55 forecasts, boosted by soaring fossil fuel prices and subsidies in some countries for household purchases. 

Electric vehicle rollout is expected to outpace Fit-for-55 targets by 30%, with record sales last year and newly announced EU policy already setting a faster direction of travel. 

In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the European Commission’s REPowerEU plan proposed raising the bloc’s 2030 renewable energy target from 40% to 45%, a move overwhelmingly supported by the European Parliament. However, some Member States are resisting this shift towards higher ambition, with negotiations expected to continue in March.

A new energy reality has unfolded across Europe since the Fit-for-55 package was presented eighteen months ago. As 40% renewables no longer reflects where we are heading, sticking with the lower target means aiming for failure. With a more realistic 45% target, the EU can align policy with where the markets are already heading, helping the EU respond to this unprecedented moment.

Elisabeth Cremona Energy and Climate Data Analyst, Ember