Europe Is Still Digging for Coal Despite its New 32% Renewable Energy Goal for 2030

Many EU governments are backing down from their leadership role in fighting climate change and are still heavily relying on fossil fuels; Sun Investment Group comments on green energy targets in Europe


August 10, 2018. The world is experiencing the effect of climate change already – the summer of 2018 could be the hottest one on record in Europe, and the heat waves are promising to intensify in frequency. Global warming could see ocean levels rise by as much as 2 metres by 2100 – leaving much of the world’s land underwater.

The biggest cause for climate change is carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions – and 2018 has seen atmospheric levels of the gas climb to their highest ever monthly average.

The EU has a binding target of meeting 20% of European energy needs with renewables by 2020. This June, as a response to the looming crisis of CO2 emissions, EU has increased its renewable energy target from 27% to 32% by 2030.

“We welcome this initiative, as it’s a significant move to decarbonise the European energy system,” said Deividas Varabauskas, CEO of Sun Investment Group. “For us this means more expansion and new investments. As a result of this agreement, administrative procedures will also be streamlined, and for Europe, this means significantly reduced soft costs of solar – as new installation can now take no more than 1 year.”

However, not all European countries have equal commitment and strategy to meet renewable targets, and many experts say the 32% target is too low.

“Certainly, we would have liked to see the target way above 32%,” said Deividas Varabauskas. “Fossil fuel will still be used at an alarming frequency all over Europe, and many countries are still digging for coal. For example, last year, 37 percent Germany’s electricity was powered by coal, and they are still searching for new fossil fuels. Our goal is to spread awareness that in the end, solar energy will be much more beneficial and more cost-effective, and I’m not even talking about the impact on global warming.”

According to a comprehensive study by Climate Action Network Europe (CANEurope), such countries as Belgium, Denmark, Germany and the UK are no longer the leaders in the fight against climate change, and have lately been silent about EU’s transition to renewables. Germany, especially, has admitted that it will fail to meet its 2020 targets and will abandon the goal to be the pioneer in international climate policy.


Source: Climate Action Network Europe (


Even more alarmingly, most countries in Central and Eastern Europe have the lowest ambitions to affect climate policies and are driving the whole European average down.

“Not all governments are moving towards renewables as swiftly as possible,” said Deividas Varabauskas. “But there are countries where the potential for solar energy development is the biggest – such as Spain, Holland, France and Hungary. Poland, which is Europe’s biggest energy polluter due to its 90% reliance on coal, is also slowly shifting towards renewables, and we are thankful to the Polish government for a serious move towards an increase of solar energy generator development. Our biggest project at the moment is 43 solar energy plant portfolio in Poland that will be developed by Q2 2019 with a total investment of around 40 million EUR. The project represents around 15% of the country’s total solar energy market in Poland.”

Poland, Europe’s biggest energy polluter due to its 90% reliance on coal, is slowly shifting towards renewables


The first part of the project is already opened – it’s a 2.1826-hectare plant at Gralewo, developed in partnership with Lithuanian energy company E-Energija and Spain’s I+D Energias. Ready-to-build solar projects have been acquired from local Polish developer, and operate with a Polish team of 20 people.  The plant is expected to deliver 1040 MWh annually to the national grid, saving 920 tonnes of CO2 per year.

Solar PV is the fastest growing energy technology in world, and Europe is the world’s second-largest solar region, with a capacity of more than 100 gigawatts (up from just 3GW in 2006). Major developments underway include a 2,369-hectare plant in the Spanish region of Aragon, set to deliver 549 MW of renewable energy – the largest solar PV installation in Europe.

As solar energy companies attract increasing interest from investors and governments in Europe and elsewhere, they give hope to solving the looming global warming crisis.



Sun Investment Group (SiG) has an extensive experience developing solar power projects across Europe. SiG is acting as a professional managing partner with minority stake in Polish venture, with Lithuania’s E-Energija and Spain’s  I+D Energias as other 2 shareholders.