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What you want to know: Energy policy in the European Union

Met dank overgenomen van Duits voorzitterschap Europese Unie 2e helft 2020 (Duits Voorzitterschap), gepubliceerd op dinsdag 6 oktober 2020.

What would you want to ask Germany's Presidency of the Council of the EU? Our series answers three questions asked by citizens. This time, they concern energy policy in the EU.

  • 1. 
    What are the EU targets on climate and energy for 2030?

On climate and energy, the EU has set itself three targets for 2030 that member states want to achieve together. First, the EU wants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% compared to 1990 levels. Second, the EU aims to increase the share of renewable energies in gross final energy consumption to least 32%. Finally, by reducing primary and final energy consumption by at least 32.5% compared to the business-as-usual scenario, the EU will improve its energy efficiency. Furthermore, as part of the Climate Target Plan presented on 17 September, the EU is currently discussing whether the 2030 target on lowering greenhouse gas emissions should be increased to at least 55%.

  • 2. 
    What are the national energy and climate plans of the EU member states?

The national energy and climate plan (NECP) is a new planning and monitoring instrument at the EU level. Each member state has drawn up an NECP and forwarded it to the European Commission. In it, they describe what national targets, strategies and steps they want to use to help achieve the EU targets on climate and energy for 2030. The NECPs render the policies of the individual EU member states more transparent and make it easier to draw comparisons.

Those plans can be found here:

National energy and climate plans (NECPs) External link

  • 3. 
    What (future) role does hydrogen play in the European internal market?

As climate ambitions increase, alternative energy sources and, in particular, green hydrogen will become more important in fields where the direct use of electricity from renewable energies and energy efficiency alone will not suffice for decarbonisation. This is the case in certain transport sectors - freight or aviation, for example - and in certain industrial manufacturing processes, such as in the steel and chemicals sectors. Both the German and the European hydrogen strategy aim to establish hydrogen as a key element of the energy transition. In anticipation of a growing market for hydrogen technologies in the European Union, developing an EU internal market for hydrogen will also grow in importance. The key prerequisites here are favourable conditions and the creation of a regulatory framework for the development of European hydrogen infrastructure.

Furthermore, hydrogen technologies are an important industrial policy topic for EU member states along the entire value chain. German and European businesses are leading the field here.


The European Union thrives off of the interest and engagement of its citizens. That's why we want to know: what questions do you have for Germany’s Presidency of the Council of the EU? What do you want to know from political decision-makers in the ministries? Our series “3 questions, 3 answers” puts your questions about important topics of the Council Presidency to a vote on our social media channels. The three most popular questions will then be answered on eu2020.de.

On this topic

Informal Videoconference of EU Energy Ministers: “Promote and reconcile both climate action and economic development”Internal link

On 6 October, the Informal Videoconference of EU Energy Ministers took place under the chairmanship of German Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier. EU Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson also attended the meeting.

Economic Affairs Minister Altmaier about today's Hydrogen Conference: “Green hydrogen is the energy source of the future”Internal link

Today, German Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier is hosting a virtual conference on hydrogen as an energy source. Numerous international experts are taking part. ​​​​​​​

Climate sustainability and energy policy remain on the agenda Internal link

Even amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the German Presidency will pursue ambitious goals in line with the United Nations' 2030 Agenda.

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