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In an effort to reduce reliance on Russian fossil fuels, an EU policy will make solar panels mandatory on all new buildings.
Published today, 18 May, the 'solar rooftop initiative' is part of the European Commission's REPowerEU Plan, which aims to increase the use of renewable energy and reduce dependency on Russian imports.
News of the initiative comes as Western countries continue to cut economic ties with Russia, as the war in Ukraine continues.
Explaining the move, the European Commission wrote: "In March 2022, EU leaders agreed in the European Council1 to phase out Europe’s dependency on Russian energy imports as soon as possible. Drawing on the Commission’s communication, they invited the Commission to swiftly put forward a detailed REPowerEU plan."
The commission added: "A massive speed-up and scale-up in renewable energy in power generation, industry, buildings and transport will accelerate our phasing out of Russian fossil fuels. It will also, over time, lower electricity prices and reduce fossil fuel imports."
This acceleration is said to be facilitated by a set of actions that includes saving energy, diversifying supplies, substituting fossil fuels for clean energy, and smarter investing.
And it's under this action of substituting fossil fuels that the EU plans to phase-in solar panels, as the commission introduces 'the European Solar Rooftop Initiative anchored around a legally binding EU solar rooftop obligation for certain categories of buildings'.
While the plan looks like it will be better for the future of the planet, it will hit purse strings pretty hard, as it explains: "The Commission’s analysis indicates that REPowerEU entails additional investment of 210 billion euro between now and 2027."
Still, the plan is something that most people seem on board with, as 85% of people polled by the commission believe the EU 'should reduce its dependency on Russian gas and oil as soon as possible'.
Meanwhile, "84% agree that Russia’s aggression against Ukraine makes it more urgent for EU Member States to invest in renewable energy."
Frans Timmermans, leader of the European Commissions European Green Deal said of the plan: "It is clear we need to put an end to this dependence [on Russian imports] as soon as possible and a lot faster than we had for-seen 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."
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