The European Parliament and Council today reached a provisional agreement to reinforce the EU Renewable Energy Directive and thus raise the binding 2030 renewables target in the EU to at least 42.5% from 32% while setting an indicative target of 45%.
In a statement welcoming the agreement, the European Commission (EC) said that negotiators have agreed for the EU to actually aim for 45% of renewables by 2030. The EC proposed the accelerated roll-out of renewables as part of the REPowerEU Plan presented in May 2022.
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Under the new law, the renewables permitting procedures will be “easier and faster” and renewable energy will be recognised as an overriding public interest. It has been agreed that “particularly short and simple permitting processes” will apply to certain areas put in place by Member States that are characterised by high renewables potential and low environmental risks.
For the first time, industry is included in the Renewable Energy Directive as a key energy-consuming sector. The legislation sets indicative targets for 1.6% annual increase in renewables use and a binding target to achieve 42% of renewable hydrogen in total hydrogen consumption in industry by the end of the decade. In addition, it stipulates a 14.5% greenhouse gas intensity reduction or a 29% renewables share in final energy consumption in transport. A combined sub-target of 5.5% for advanced biofuels and renewable fuels of non-biological origin has also been agreed upon.
Commenting on the news, Walburga Hemetsberger, CEO of SolarPower Europe, said the following: "We believe the negotiators when they say this was the only deal possible. We're celebrating that the EU has set a path to 45% renewables this decade. This sends a clear message to all stakeholders to prepare for system change. That means scaling investment, electricity grids, and our workforce. As for the indicative 2.5% target, the task now is to use the EU tools at hand to secure the top up. And of course, 45% is a floor, not a ceiling. We'll be working to deliver as much renewable energy by 2030 as possible."
The provisional agreement now has to be adopted formally by the Parliament and the Council, after which the new legislation will be published in the Official Journal of the Union.