The EU has proposed a binding 27% renewable energy target for 2030.

The goal will operate alongside a greenhouse gas reduction target of 40%.

Speaking to PV Tech, Solar Power Portal’s sister site, prior to confirmation of the target, Greenpeace energy policy expert Tara Connolly said: “A 27% renewables target is little more than business-as-usual.”

Connolly believes that the 40% GHG target will itself trigger a push to around 27% for renewable energy across the EU, leaving the separate target redundant.

She said: “It would have an impact on renewables investment not just after 2020 but before. What are member states and investors going to do if they know they don’t have to develop renewables after 2020?”

Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission said the new target would avoid fragmentation and distortion of the European market.

“We propose not setting binding national targets because one lesson we have drawn from experience is that they risk fragmentation of the European market. This bottom up approach will give more flexibility to member states,” he said.

The UK and Poland had led calls for no renewable target to be established to allow them to reduce emissions through carbon capture and storage and nuclear energy.

It remains possible that the UK and a coalition of central European nations could block the introduction of the binding renewables target.

Reacting to the news, Leonie Greene, head of external affairs for the Solar Trade Association (STA) said: “It’s shocking that the UK government, one of the poorest performers on renewables in Europe, sought to squash such a valuable target. Let’s be clear, a target is not the same as public support. Solar is likely to need no public support in the next decade, but a target will provide the whole renewables industry with the confidence to invest for strong expansion going forwards. Now under this pan-EU target approach, we are likely to see a scenario where countries like Germany that take a long term perspective continue to strongly back their renewables industry into the next decade, while we fall even further behind.”

EU energy commissioner Günther Oettinger said a review process would be established to ensure the EU remained on track.

“As of next year we will have an annual report to indicate how we are doing as we move toward 27% so we can make necessary adjustments if we have catching up to do. Lastly we need more harmonisation of support systems so that at least 27% can be reached,” he said.