5 December, Brussels – The European Parliament’s Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) Committee has voted to strengthen proposals for the European Union’s 2030 energy targets, putting it on a collision course with the Council of the European Union.
In the Committee’s report, which will now be voted on in plenary, ITRE has set an EU-wide target of 35% renewable energy by 2030 and a 40% energy efficiency improvement by the same date.
Although sticking to higher targets, the Committee’s rapporteur on the new Renewable Energy Directive was forced to drop initial demands that the 35% target be binding. The Committee’s report also specifies that countries can fall short of their targets by up to 10%, effectively lowering the overall target to 31.5%.
The position does, however, introduce new subsidiary issues to support self-consumption for both individuals and communities, and also seeks to raise ambitions in the transport and heating & cooling sectors.
Comparatively, ITRE was divided on how to tackle the new Energy Efficiency Directive. The Committee was almost evenly split on whether to support a binding target or not, with 33 votes in favour and 30 against. The Committee also supported the Commission’s proposal for annual energy savings requirement of 1.5% each year after 2020, and seeks to include the transport sector which was previously exempted from the EED.
The Committee’s reports will form the Parliament’s starting position for negotiations with the Council which has shown less ambition over the 2030 targets. It is understood that the Council will argue for non-binding targets of 27% renewable energy and 30% efficiency improvement.
The Environment Council is expected to approve the position of Member States on 18 December, and the European Parliament will vote in Plenary in January.
For more information, see the European Parliament’s Press Release.