The European Commission will encourage rationing and make solar panels mandatory to move away from Russian energy
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced on Wednesday that the EU would raise its renewable energy targets and invest billions of euros in clean energy to break away from Russian imports of oil and gas. Consumers will pay the price, however, with the EU plan including energy rationing and mandatory solar panels on homes.
Von der Leyen’s “REPowerEU” plan would cut the EU’s reliance on Russian gas by 66% this year and eliminate it completely by 2027, the bloc’s policy chief told reporters in Brussels.
Under the plan, the EU will increase its energy efficiency target from 9% to 13% and increase the amount of its electricity produced by renewables from 40% to 45% by 2030. On time Currently, the EU derives 22% of its energy from renewables.
To achieve this, von der Leyen said the EU would speed up the permitting process for renewable projects such as wind farms and make 300 billion euros ($315 billion) available in grants and loans. . Of this funding, 95% would be earmarked for green energy, while 5% would be used to upgrade Europe’s gas and oil infrastructure to receive imports from sources other than Russia.
However, some of the immediate costs will be borne by consumers. According to the European Commission’s website, households and industry will be required to “behavioral changes” – such as turning down the air conditioning and turning off the lights – to reduce demand for oil and gas by 5%. Additionally, commercial and public buildings will be required to install rooftop solar panels by 2025, with these panels to be made mandatory on residential buildings by 2029.
Some Member States have already asked their citizens to reduce their energy consumption. Germany, which depends on Russia for more than half of its gas and was already facing the highest energy costs in the world due to its flawed transition to wind power, has asked its population to shower less and trade in cars for bikes to cut costs.
With consumers across the EU already grappling with soaring inflation and record fuel prices, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that European countries were engaging economically “suicide” trying to wean off Russian oil and gas, accusing them of bowing to pressure “of their American overlord” without “paying attention to the damage they have already done to their own economy.”
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