EU diplomats will vote on the bloc’s new renewable energy bill on Wednesday after a group of countries, including France, registered last-minute opposition in May. 

The bill proposes a binding goal for all EU countries to generate 42.5% of their energy from renewable sources by 2030. While France wanted the law to recognise low-carbon nuclear energy as a component of renewable targets, Bulgaria, Romania, and Poland say the targets are overambitious.  

The EU’s current share of renewables in the energy mix is 22%. However, the share of the energy mix is unevenly distributed among the countries. Sweden’s share of renewable energy is 63%, while Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta and the Netherlands comprise less than 13% of the total energy share.  

The revised directive on renewables doubles the current targets with an ambition to accelerate the bloc’s plan to fight climate change and end dependence on Russian fuel. Meeting the new goals requires scaling up wind and solar farms, increasing the production of renewable gases and integrating Europe’s power grids to accommodate cleaner energy. 

While nuclear energy is low-carbon, it is not renewable. France is, however, pushing for more favourable treatment of nuclear energy. The country maintains that the new bill puts countries like France, with a huge nuclear share, at a disadvantage. In May this year, the French Parliament passed a law to accelerate the construction of new nuclear reactors.  

To make amends to the existing deal, the EU has proposed options like accompanying the law with a declaration acknowledging the challenges some countries face, reports Reuters.  

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The Parliament was due to hold the first round of voting in May, followed by a final vote in July. Despite initially agreeing to take the proposition forward, the bill was met with resistance on the floor.  

The pro-nuclear EU states have enough votes to block the law. On the other hand, anti-nuclear states like Germany, and others including Ireland and Denmark, warn that the delay caused by blocking the bill endangers timely investment in renewables.