Photo: Frans Timmermans at a press conference, left; a house with solar cells on the shores of Lake Como, Italy, right.
A new proposal by the European Union will mean that all new buildings will need to come with solar panels as a way of tackling climate change and lowering the group’s reliance on Russian oil and gas.
The ‘solar rooftop initiative‘ in the European Commission’s REPowerEU would mean panels would be attached in both commercial and residential properties and seriously cut carbon emissions.
Frans Timmermans, who is leading the project, said:
Let us show as a commission how quickly we can put solar panels on our buildings… It is clear we need to put an end to this dependence [on Russian fossil fuels] as soon as possible and a lot faster than we had foreseen before this war. In March we showed it could be done, the European Council in Versailles decided it should be done, today we show how it will be done.”
“There is huge potential for rooftop solar … there is a huge potential for on and offshore wind, there is a huge potential for increased biomethane production. If we do all these things we will first of all reduce our imports of Russian gas by one-third already this year and then we will, working towards 2027, reduce our dependency to zero.”
The EU Commission says it will also invest a further €210bn (£178bn) before 2027 in order to improve the transition to the green economy, the eventual goal being that the EU will have 45% of its energy provided from green sources by 2030. The proposals will also save 100 billion Euros currently findings its way into Russia. This will also involve a new focus on hydrogen energy as a way of replacing fossil fuels.
Since the start of the war in Ukraine, there has been a tremendous push to stop European money leaking into Russia in exchange for their oil and gas, a practice which has continued despite the fact that massive economic sanctions have been imposed upon the country. Some European officials have said that Russian gas and oil being cut off immediately would result in a major economic crisis across the bloc.
[Based on reporting by: The Independent]