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ISSN 2753-7757 (Online)

EU MEPs agree to 45% renewables target

21/9/2022

Outside of European Parliament building Photo: Adobe Stock
The European Parliament has voted in favour of raising the EU’s share of renewables production to 45% under a revision to the Renewable Energy Directive

Photo: Adobe Stock

The European Parliament’s Industry, Research and Energy Committee has voted in favour of doubling the European Union’s share of renewables in the overall energy mix from 22% to 45% by 2030, under a revision of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED), in a bid to improve energy security and tackle climate change.

The 45% target is also backed by the European Commission (EC) under its RepowerEU package.

 

MEPs also agreed to double the number of cross-border projects for the expansion of green electricity to two projects per Member State, while Member States with the highest annual electricity consumption (>100 Twh) would be obliged to adopt a third project by 2030.

 

The setting of an indicative target for innovative renewable energy technology of at least 5% of newly installed renewable energy capacity was also called for by the Committee, as well as transparency of green electricity components and a simpler system for guaranteeing its origin.

 

Meanwhile, in the transport sector, MEPs said that renewables deployment should lead to a 16% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, through the use of higher shares of advanced biofuels and a more ambitious quota for renewable fuels of non-biological origin such as hydrogen.

 

There were a number of ‘sticking points’ during the meeting, including disagreement over the definition of ‘green’ hydrogen, an issue that was deferred for a decision under another EU law that will define ‘low carbon’ hydrogen produced, for example, from nuclear energy. A number of MEPs also wanted biomass removed from the definition of renewable energy. According to Euractiv, MEPs finally supported the inclusion of biomass in the EU’s renewable energy mix but at a level that should not exceed the average recorded in 2017–2022. Bioenergy currently makes up nearly 60% of the EU’s renewable energy sources. Furthermore, while it was agreed to introduce a progressive phase down of biomass, no end date was suggested, upsetting environmentalists and some MEPs who had called for a complete phase out by 2030. It was agreed, however, to end subsidies for biomass used in power plants, as well as the exclusion of palm oil and soya from transport fuels.

 

The updated EU renewable energy objective is not yet written into law, as it requires majority backing from the 27 EU Member States. A decision is expected before the end of the year, following talks between the European Commission, MEPs and national ministers.

 

In a separate vote, MEPs backed a revision of the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED), raising energy consumption reduction targets. Under the revision, Member States would have to collectively ensure a reduction in final energy consumption of at least 40% by 2030 and 42.5% in primary energy consumption compared to 2007 projections. This corresponds to 740mn and 960mn toe for final and primary energy consumption, respectively. Member States are expected to set binding national contributions to achieve the targets.

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