Europe’s New Renewable Energy Target Draws Mixed Reactions

European Union officials drew mixed responses from special-interest groups this week after agreeing to a binding renewable energy target of 32 percent by 2030. The target represents a step back for the European Parliament, which had originally proposed 35 percent.

But it is still a big improvement over the European Council’s counteroffer of 27 percent. The deal includes a clause to allow for an increase in the target by 2023.

EU Climate Action &amp; Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Ca&ntilde;ete tweeted that Europe is &ldquo;<a href="" >upping the game</a>&rdquo; as negotiators emerged from talks that lasted through the night.&nbsp;

And the European PV industry body SolarPower Europe claimed that &ldquo;solar wins big&rdquo; with the deal. This is largely thanks to a provision, thought to be the most wide-ranging of its kind, that gives EU citizens the right to produce, consume, store and sell their own electricity.&nbsp;

&ldquo;The deal is <div class="post-limited-image"><img src="" border="0"></div>
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Ohio Lawmakers Extend Freeze on Clean Energy Mandates

Ohio lawmakers have passed a bill that would allow utilities to continue ignoring the state&rsquo;s renewable energy targets for the next two years. H.B. 554 was approved by the State Senate last Thursday and passed again in the House early Friday morning. Its fate now lies in the hands of Republican Governor John Kasich.

The bill comes after lawmakers placed a two-year freeze on Ohio&rsquo;s renewable-energy and energy-efficiency standards, which triggered a sharp drop in clean energy investments, according to a <a href="" >Pew Research study</a>. Opponents of the bill say making the targets voluntary will have the same impact as suspending the policy.

The standards were initially created by a 2008 law requiring utilities to make up 12.5 percent of their electricity mix with renewable energy sources by 2025, and cut electricity consumption through efficiency programs by 22 percent by the same year. In 2014, legislators passed a bill <div class="post-limited-image"><img src="" border="0"></div>
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