December 19 (Renewables Now) - The Council of EU energy ministers on Monday adopted its position on the renewable energy directive and said it is ready to start negotiations with the European Parliament in 2018.
The Council backed the Commission's proposal for a renewable energy target of at least 27% by 2030.
Industry body WindEurope said there were both positive and worrying signals from the ministers' position. "It's good they've endorsed the Commission's proposals on: the 3-year visibility requirement for renewables policies; the need to remove barriers to corporate PPAs; and the binding template for National Energy Plans," said WindEurope chief executive Giles Dickson. He, however, expressed disappointment that the Council has failed to move towards the Parliament's support for a 35% renewables target by 2030.
The European renewable ethanol association ePURE said the ministers' stance on renewable energy in transport is "an unfortunate turn in the wrong direction for the fight against climate change."
The Council agreed on a 14% renewables target for the transport sector by 2030 for each member state, with a sub-target of 3% for advanced biofuels, for which double-counting will be possible. There will be also multipliers for renewable electricity used in road and rail transport. The existing 7% cap on first-generation biofuels is maintained, the Council said and added that if a member state sets a lower cap, it could reduce its overall target for renewables in transport.
"The EU needs to agree a clear way forward for its biofuels policy after years of policy uncertainty," said ePURE secretary general Emmanuel Desplechin. "As it stands now, the European Commission, Parliament and Council are all sending mixed messages, with fossil fuels as the only clear winner," Desplechin added.