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  • The European Council

European Council adopts new Renewable Energy Directive


Source: The European Council

The European Council adopted the new Renewable Energy Directive (REDIII) Oct. 9 to raise the share of renewable energy in the EU’s overall energy consumption to 42.5 percent by 2030 with an additional 2.5 percent indicative top up to allow the target of 45 percent to be achieved.


Each member state will contribute to this common target.


All member states will contribute to achieving more ambitious sector-specific targets in transport, industry, buildings and district heating and cooling.


The purpose of the sub-targets is to speed up the integration of renewables in sectors where incorporation has been slower.


“This is a great achievement in the framework of the Fit for 55 package, which will help to achieve the EU’s climate goal of reducing EU emissions by at least 55 percent by 2030,” said Teresa Ribera, the Spanish acting minister for the ecological transition. “It is a step forward that will contribute to reaching the EU’s climate targets in a fair, cost-effective and competitive way.”


Transport

Member states will have the possibility to choose between:


  • A binding target of a 14.5 percent reduction in greenhouse-gas intensity in transport from the use of renewables by 2030


  • Or a binding share of at least 29 percent of renewables within the final consumption of energy in the transport sector by 2030


The new rules establish a binding combined sub-target of 5.5 percent for advanced biofuels, generally derived from nonfood-based feedstocks, and renewable fuels of nonbiological origin (RFNBO), mostly renewable hydrogen and hydrogen-based synthetic fuels, in the share of renewable energies supplied to the transport sector.


Within this target, there is a minimum requirement of 1 percent of RFNBO in the share of renewable energies supplied to the transport sector in 2030.


Industry

The directive states that industry will need to increase the use of renewable energy annually by 1.6 percent.


Member states agreed that 42 percent of the hydrogen used in industry should come from RFNBO by 2030 and 60 percent by 2035.


Member states will have the possibility to discount the contribution of RFNBO in industry use by 20 percent under two conditions:


  • If the member states’ national contribution to the binding overall EU target meets their expected contribution


  • The share of hydrogen from fossil fuels consumed in the member state is not more 23 percent in 2030 and 20 percent in 2035


Buildings, heating and cooling

The new rules set an indicative target of at least a 49 percent renewable energy share in buildings in 2030.


Renewable targets for heating and cooling will gradually increase, with a binding increase of 0.8 percent per year at national levels until 2026 and 1.1 percent from 2026 to 2030.


The minimum annual average rate applicable to all member states is complemented by additional indicative increases calculated specifically for each member state.


Bioenergy

The directive strengthens the sustainability criteria for the use of biomass for energy in order to reduce the risk of unsustainable bioenergy production.


Member states will ensure that the cascading principle is applied, with a focus on support schemes and with due regard to national specificities.


Faster permits for projects

Permit procedures for renewable energy projects will be accelerated.


The intention is to fast-track the deployment of renewable energies in the context of the EU’s REPowerEU plan to become independent from Russian fossil fuels, after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.


Member states will design renewables acceleration areas where renewable energy projects will undergo simplified and fast permit-granting processes.


Renewable energy deployment will also be presumed to be of “overriding public interest,” which will limit the grounds of legal objections to new installations.


Next steps

The directive has been formally adopted. It will now be published in the EU’s Official Journal and enter into force 20 days later. Member states will have 18 months after the entry into force of the directive to transpose it into national legislation.


Background

The proposal to revise the Renewable Energy Directive, along with other proposals, is a response to the energy aspects of the EU’s climate transition under the Fit for 55 package.


The European Commission presented the Fit for 55 package July 14, 2021.


This package aims to align the EU’s climate and energy legislative framework with its 2050 climate-neutrality objective and with its objective of reducing net greenhouse-gas emissions by at least 55 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.


In addition, as part of the REPowerEU plan, on May 18, 2022, the Commission proposed a series of additional targeted amendments to RED to reflect recent changes in the energy landscape.


The elements of the proposal were integrated into the directive adopted Oct. 9.


The current REDII has been in force since December 2018 and has been legally binding since June 2021.


It sets an EU-level target of 32 percent share of renewable energy in the total EU energy consumption by 2030 at the EU level.


The new directive will amend the current one, and the changes will become legally binding 18 months after its entry into force.


Click here for more information on the new regulation.

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