MEPs support boost for renewables use and energy savings
Author: Responsible Business News / Date: 19 August 2022
By 2030, the Industry, Research, and Energy Committee hopes to have significantly increased the use of renewable energy sources and decreased energy usage.
In accordance with the revision of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED), MEPs agreed on 13th July to raise the share of renewable energy in the EU’s final energy consumption to 45% by 2030. The European Commission also supported this goal as part of its “RepowerEU” package.
To increase the use of green electricity, MEPs doubled the number of cross-border projects from one to two per member state. By 2030, the member states with the highest yearly electricity consumption must enact a third project.
Additionally, the committee requests that member states adopt a benchmark of at least 5% of newly installed renewable energy capacity for innovative renewable energy technologies.
MEPs also emphasised the importance of transparency in green energy components and the streamlining of hydrogen ramp-up, including a simplified method for ensuring its provenance.
With higher shares of advanced biofuels and a more ambitious quota for renewable fuels of non-biological origin like hydrogen, the deployment of renewables in the transportation sector should result in a 16% decrease in greenhouse gas emissions.
The Energy Efficiency Directive (EED), a piece of legislation that establishes energy-saving goals for the EU’s primary and final energy use, received support from MEPs in a separate vote on Wednesday.
The EU’s target for reducing final and primary energy consumption was risen by MEPs: Member States should work together to ensure a reduction in energy consumption of at least 40% by 2030 for final energy consumption and 42.5% by 2030 for primary energy consumption compared to projections in 2007. This corresponds to the final and primary energy usage of 740 and 960 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe), respectively. To meet these goals, Member States should establish legally binding national contributions.
The goals must be met through actions at the municipal, regional, national, and European levels, across a variety of industries, including public administration, construction, business, and data centres.
Markus Pieper (EPP, DE), the lead MEP on the renewable energy directive, stated that “only the expansion of renewable energy means true independence”. “Our vote demonstrates strong support for the increased 2030 target of 45%. At the same time, 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, while at the same time showing 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: “I am happy we have broad political support for greater efforts for energy efficiency in the European Parliament. We are in a crisis where Putin is shutting off gas to the EU. One of our most effective answers to this is energy efficiency. Therefore, it is crucial that the committee today has voted for high and binding energy efficiency targets for the EU as a whole and for individual member states.”
The RED report was approved by MEPs with 54 votes to 14, 6 abstentions, and the EED report with 50 votes to 7, 13 abstentions. The whole House will vote on both measures during its plenary meeting in Strasbourg from 12 to 15 September.
To fulfill the new EU goal of a least 55% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030, the European Commission adopted the “Fit for 55” package on July 14, 2021. The revision of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED II), which will assist the EU in meeting the new 55% GHG target, is one component of the package. By 2030, the EU must guarantee that at least 32% of its energy consumption would come from renewable energy sources (RES), under RED II.
The Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) has been revised as part of the “Fit for 55” initiative to better align its rules with the new 55% GHG target.
As of right now, the EED outlines the quantity of energy savings the EU must achieve to attain the agreed-upon target of 32.5% energy efficiency improvements by 2030. In addition to a prominent role for governments and public sector investment, steps to address energy poverty, and other measures to assist deliver higher energy savings, the recast would force member states to virtually quadruple their annual energy reduction obligations.