Parliament backs boost for renewables use and energy savings

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament.


By 2030, the European Parliament wants renewable energy to be used much more, and energy consumption to be greatly reduced.

On Wednesday, MEPs voted to raise the share of renewables in the EU’s final energy consumption to 45% by 2030, under the revision of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) -a target also backed by the European Commission under its “RepowerEU” package.

The legislation also defines sub-targets for sectors such as transport, buildings, and district heating and cooling. In the transport sector, deploying renewables 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. Industry should boost its use of renewables by 1.9 percentage points per year, and district heating networks by 2.3 points.

Each member state will have to develop two cross-border projects for the expansion of green electricity. Member states with an annual electricity consumption of more than 100 TWh will have to develop a third one by 2030.

MEPs also adopted amendments calling for phasing down the share of primary wood counted as renewable energy.

The text was adopted with 418 votes in favour, 109 against and 111 abstentions.

Energy savings

In a separate vote on Wednesday, MEPs backed the revision of the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED), the law that sets energy-saving targets in both primary and final energy consumption in the EU.

MEPs raised the EU target for reducing final and primary energy consumption, so that member states must collectively ensure final energy consumption is reduced by at least 40% by 2030 and 42.5% in primary energy consumption compared to 2007 projections. This corresponds to 740 and 960 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe) for final and primary energy consumption, respectively. Member states should set binding national contributions to achieve these targets.

The targets will be met through measures at local, regional, national and European levels, in different sectors – e.g. public administration, buildings, businesses, data centres.

The text was adopted with 469 votes in favour, 93 against and 82 abstentions.

Quotes

“Only the expansion of renewable energy means true independence” said Markus Pieper (EPP, DE), lead MEP on the renewable energy directive. “We strongly support the increased 2030 target of 45%. We confirm the need for more cross-border cooperation to expand renewable energy deployment, and call for a diversified import strategy for hydrogen. We have also raised the requirements for the sustainability of biomass and fuels, and showed ways in which biogenic materials can make a real economic contribution to the energy transition.”

Niels Fuglsang (S&D, DK), rapporteur on the energy efficiency directive, said: “. We are in a crisis where Putin is shutting off gas. One of our most effective answers to this is energy efficiency. It is crucial Parliament has today voted for ambitious and binding energy efficiency targets for the EU and for individual member states.”

Next steps

MEPs and the Czech Presidency of the Council will now enter into negotiations on the files, on which EU Ministers have set their position in June.

Background

On 14 July 2021, the European Commission adopted the ‘Fit for 55’ package, adapting existing climate and energy legislation to meet the new EU objective of a minimum 55% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030. One element of the package is the revision of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED II), which will help the EU deliver the new 55% GHG target. Under RED II currently in force, the EU is obliged to ensure at least 32% of its energy consumption comes from renewable energy sources by 2030.

The “Fit for 55” package also includes the recast of the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED), aligning its provisions to the new 55% GHG target. The EED currently sets out the level of energy savings the EU needs to make to meet the agreed goal of 32.5% energy efficiency improvements by 2030.

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: