The European Union could double the share of renewables in its energy mix to as much as 34 per cent by 2030, a new report suggests.
Advances in technology could boost the bloc's share of renewables from 17 per cent to well above its current target of 24 per cent by 2030, a report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) found.
The EU would need renewable energy investments of around €62bn (£55bn) per year to reach a 34 per cent share by 2030, but raising the share of renewable energy would trigger additional investments of around €368bn into the industry until 2030, and it will also help reduce emissions by a further 15 per cent over the next 12 years - the equivalent of Italy's total emissions.
“With an ambitious and achievable new renewable energy strategy, the EU can deliver market certainty to investors and developers, strengthen economic activity, grow jobs, improve health and put the EU on a stronger decarbonisation pathway in line with its climate objectives," said Irena director general Adnan Amin.
European Commissioner for energy and climate action Miguel Arias Canete, said the report confirmed the commission's own assessments that the costs of renewables had come down significantly in the past couple of years.
"We need to consider these new realities in our ambition levels for the upcoming negotiations to finalise Europe's renewable energy policies," he said.