Brussels – Europe will be powered by at least 32% renewable energy in 2030 according to new binding targets agreed by EU member states within the updated Renewable Energy Directive (REDII).
The agreement marks the end of long and sometimes fractious negotiation which successfully raised ambition from a 27% target proposed by member states. A review clause – giving the option to increase ambition depending on progress – has been included to placate MEPs who had been asking for 35%.
A 14% target for renewable energy in transport was included – just 4% higher than the 2020 target. This aims to boost the prevalence of electric vehicles and advanced or ‘second generation’ biofuels, which have their own 3.5% target.
The agreement also addressed sustainability, putting the brakes on first generation biofuels, which must not increase their share after 2020. A total phase out of palm oil use in transport was also agreed, something environmental groups have long been campaigning for.
Citizens and energy communities
Renewable energy communities and households with renewable installations are considered to be among the winners from the new regulation. For the first time both groups are defined within the text and have certain rights bestowed upon them.
Among other things, the directive ensures renewable energy communities are taken into account in national renewables support schemes and contains strong rules to ensure households who self-consume renewables without feeding into the grid are exempt from grid charges.
After the Directive is rubber stamped by the European Parliament and the Council, Member States will have 18 months to transpose the new elements of the Directive into national law. Whether the targets will apply to the UK after it leaves the EU will depend on the exit deal reached by London and Brussels.
For more information, see the Commission’s Press Release.