“We must reduce rapidly our reliance on Russian energy. We can.” That was the rallying cry from European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen as Brussels put flesh on the bones of its REPower EU plan for green-led energy independence from Putin’s gas.

As expected, the €300bn ($316bn) plan includes a higher 2030 renewables share target for the bloc – 45% instead of 40%, faster permitting of projects, recognition of renewable energy as an “overriding public interest” and increased goals for wind and solar.

The commission also wants to see dedicated ‘go-to' areas for renewables put in place by member states with shortened and simplified permitting processes in areas with lower environmental risks.

Solar loomed especially large in the REPowerEU proposals with an “ambitious but realistic” aim of doubling PV capacity to 320GW by 2025, and a further boost to almost 600GW by 2030. That goes hand-in-glove with plans reported last week by Recharge to seed a European solar manufacturing renaissance.

Last, but by no means least, REPowerEU saw a clutch of measures designed to wean the bloc off grey hydrogen – which is generated with fossil fuels – and towards the green, renewables-powered variety, including a carbon contracts for difference subsidies scheme.

Recharge revealed soon after the announcement how Brussels is expecting to see 1.3 million tonnes of green hydrogen to be blended into the natural gas network by 2030, according to a document published as part of the package, raising the spectre of even higher heating costs for consumers with only marginal emissions reductions.

On the other side of the Atlantic, the focus of the US renewables industry was on the Cleanpower 2022 event hosted in Texas by American Clean Power (ACP).

The challenges the US wind and solar sectors faced last year were clear to see when ACP released its annual market report for 2021, a catalogue of Covid-related supply chain disruption, inflation and federal policy uncertainty that delayed capacity additions.

Those headwinds persist, and Vestas executives told Recharge that a desire to cause minimal extra pain to the supply chain helped inform its latest new wind turbine variant, the V163-4.5MW that shares many features of the existing V150.

Rival OEM GE – confirmed by updated ACP figures as US market leader last year – was also busy unveiling its own “future needs-tailored” turbine, the 3.0-3.4MW Sierra, putting other manufacturers on notice that it is shifting up a gear to compete in a market segment it sees having key growth potential.

Whatever the short-term challenges, nobody sees the long-term prospects for US renewables as anything but bright, not least because of the ambition of states such as Oklahoma, which Recharge reported has ambitions to consolidate its success in wind power with leadership positions in electric vehicle, green hydrogen and renewable power export markets.

Floating wind power is on a global roll and the excitement around the sector was palpable at the annual FOWT industry conference in Montpellier, France.

As Recharge reported, however, floating wind’s rapid move into the mainstream will soon leave it facing the same policy challenges as its longer-established cousin, with several high-ranking officials refusing to rule out the type of negative bidding that has already caused controversy in fixed-foundation offshore auctions.

Floating’s inexorable expansion drive continued, meanwhile, with Irish renewables start-up Simply Blue launching plans for a pair of gigascale floating wind projects in Sweden, and partners Falck Renewables and BlueFloat Energy beginning local stakeholder engagement for a near-1GW floating wind project off coast of Italian island of Sardinia.

Analyst group Wood Mackenzie, in its latest growth forecast for the offshore wind sector, expects 8GW of some 330GW expected online by 2030 will be made up by floating arrays.