EU energy poised for revolutionary changes – Lithuania's commissioner

  • 2022-05-18
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – The EU energy sector is facing revolutionary changes, but political will be needed first to agree on a sixth package of sanctions against Russia, Lithuania's European Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevicius said on Wednesday.  

"When it comes to changes in the energy sector, we are really talking about a revolution, because these will be changes that will be implemented very quickly and will have a significant impact on the further development of the EU, the development of energy projects, and the stability of the energy market," the European commissioner for environment, oceans and fisheries told BNS.

His comment came after the Commission unveiled its 210-billion-euro RePowerEu package, which aims to wean the EU off its dependence on Russian fossil fuels by 2027 and set new, more ambitious targets for renewable energy production and energy savings.  

According to Sinkevicius, the package spells out how earlier-set goals to reduce the bloc's dependence on Russian fossil fuels will be achieved.   

One of the package's objectives is to increase the share of green energy in the EU's energy mix to 45 percent by 2030, up from the current target of 40 percent, he said. 

After the bloc's bodies adopt specific legislation, member states will have two years to set up specific areas for the development of solar and wind projects and will have to issue permits within a year, according to the commissioner. 

Among other measures, the package calls for putting in place a legal obligation to install solar modules on the roofs of new buildings, speeding up the deployment of heat pumps, and integrating geothermal and solar energy into modernized district and communal heating systems, he said.     

It also aims to double the amount of electricity produced by solar power plants in the EU to 600 gigawatts (GW) by 2030. 

However, Sinkevicius said the importance of the RePowerEu plan for adopting the EU's sixth package of sanctions against Russia should not be overestimated, because, first and foremost, it requires political will.