The European Parliament backed the revisions of the Renewable Energy Directive and Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) with proposals to increase targets. Lawmakers also decided limits should be determined and phased down for woody biomass counted as a renewable energy source and called for subsidies for primary wood to be abolished.
The European Parliament wants a significant increase in the use of renewable energy by 2030, and energy consumption to be greatly reduced. It voted to raise the share of renewables in the European Union’s final energy consumption to 45% from 40%, under the revision of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) from 2018. The European Commission proposed the same target under its REPowerEU package.
In a separate vote, lawmakers backed the revision of the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED), the law that sets energy-saving targets for both primary and final energy consumption.
EU must more than double renewables share
Of note, member states endorsed an increase in the renewables target to 40% in June, in line with previous plans. The REPowerEU plan was presented in May.
If the new objective is confirmed by EU member states in upcoming talks with parliament, the EU will have to achieve a 45% share of renewables in its overall energy mix by 2030 – compared to the current rate of 22%.
The goal for the category of fuels including green hydrogen and green ammonia is 5.7%
The Greens and the Left initially urged other lawmakers to lift the goal to between 55% and 56%, so that 100% could be reached by 2040.
The legislation defines targets for a range of sectors. In transportation, renewables are planned to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 16% or three percentage points more than in the current directive. Industry should boost its use of renewables by 1.9 percentage points per year, and district heating networks by 2.3 points.
The ambition is to boost the share of Renewable Fuels of Non-Biological Origin (RFNBO) including green hydrogen and green ammonia to 5.7% by the end of the decade, while the target for the maritime fuel market is 1.2%. RFNBO is envisaged to reach 50% of fuel used in industrial production by 2030, and 75% by 2035.
Vague limits for woody biomass
Members of the European Parliament adopted amendments calling for phasing down the share of so-called primary wood – mostly healthy and fallen trees – counted as renewable energy. They urged for abolishing subsidies for the category and the use of biomass in power plants and for excluding palm oil and soya products from biofuels in transportation.
Lawmakers didn’t propose a timeline for the cut in the use of primary wood as biomass.
The latest legislative changes opened the way for negotiations with member states
Parliamentarians voted that the EU 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. Member states should set binding national contributions.
The European Commission adopted the Fit-for-55 package last year with the goal to cut emissions by at least 55% in the current decade. The current version of the Renewable Energy Directive obligates the EU to achieve a 32% share of renewables in energy consumption. The Energy Efficiency Directive, which also needs to be revised, sets out the level of improvements at 32.5%.