LONDON — The European Commission will nearly double its target for the adoption of renewable energy in 2020 versus its goal for 2010, the EU Parliament member coordinating energy views told reporters on Monday.
The EC will likely announce in January a binding target to source 20 percent of all energy use from renewables by 2020, said Eluned Morgan, the European Parliament's rapporteur on energy security, sustainability and competitiveness.
"This is the figure going around the Commission at the moment. It's not set in stone."
The present target is non-binding: to obtain 12 percent of energy needs by 2010 from renewable sources.
The European Commission, the bloc's executive, will have to agree any new policy with the European Parliament, which this week debates how to balance growing energy needs with fears about security of supplies and climate change.
Responding to a consultation that the EC kicked off in March, the parliament will discuss a report which Morgan has coordinated and which she says already has cross-party support.
The report calls for tough targets on the adoption of renewable energies and the liberalisation of energy markets.
"Everyone thinks this is very, very ambitious," Morgan said of the report's proposal to source a quarter of energy use from renewables by 2020.
The report also calls for a target to cut carbon emissions -- blamed for global warming -- by 30 percent by 2020, to cut energy use by a fifth by then, and to liberalise power markets, seen vital to control power prices.
Morgan was critical of countries like France which were less accessible to foreign energy companies.
"They do seem more interested in defending national energy champions than in consumers," Morgan said, citing figures that nearly a fifth of British customers chose to switch energy supplier last year versus less than 2 percent in France.
The EC published its "European Strategy for Sustainable, Competitive and Secure Energy" in March, months after Russia stunned Europe by cutting gas supplies to Ukraine for two days in mid-winter, in a pricing row.
The Russian move rang alarm bells in the EU, which obtains roughly half of its gas from Russia, Norway and Algeria.
"We all pushed the panic button," said Morgan.
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