The European Parliament on November 13 approved a binding target date of 2030 for setting the level of renewables in the bloc at 32% and the indicative target for energy efficiency at 32.5%, both of which will play a crucial role in meeting the EU’s climate goals.
The MEPs confirmed that the provisional agreement reached with the Council in June on energy efficiency, renewables, and governance of the Energy Union also includes three important legislative files that are part of the Clean Energy for All Europeans package, the European Parliament said in a press release.
By 2030, energy efficiency in the EU has to have improved by 32.5%, whereas the share of energy from renewables should be at least 32% of the EU’s gross final consumption, MEPs said adding that both targets are to be reviewed by 2023. These targets can only be raised, not lowered.
By making energy more efficient, Europeans will see their energy bills reduced. In addition, Europe will reduce its reliance on external suppliers of oil and gas, improve local air quality and protect the climate, MEPs said.
For the first time, EU member will also be obliged to establish specific energy efficiency measures to the benefit of those affected by energy poverty.
Member of the bloc must also ensure that citizens are entitled to generate renewable energy for their own consumption, to store, and later sell the excess production
Second generation biofuels can play a significant role in reducing the carbon footprint of transport and at least 14% of fuel for transport purposes must come from renewable sources by 2030.
However, first-generation biofuels with a high risk of “indirect land use change” ( when land is converted from non-crop cultivation – such as grasslands and forests- to food production, which increases CO2 emissions) will no longer count towards the EU’s renewable energy goals from 2030.
From 2019, the contribution of first-generation biofuels to these goals will gradually be phased out until it reaches zero in 2030.
Each member state must present a ten-year “integrated national energy and climate plan” with national targets, contributions, policies and measures by December 31, 2019, and every ten years thereafter.
The rapporteur for energy efficiency, Czech MEP Miroslav Poche, said increased energy efficiency is a win-win policy for all Europeans. “It is a good deal for our citizens, as it will bring about major reductions in energy consumption, thus reducing bills. But it is also great news for the competitiveness of European industry, reducing costs and stimulating investment,” Poche said.
The rapporteur for renewables, Spanish S&D MEP José Blanco López, “We disincentivised investments in new production of food crop-based biofuels and we have pushed for advanced biofuels. We also managed to strengthen self-consumption as a right, and included the Parliament’s wish for a ban on charges and fees on self-consumed energy until 2026.”
WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson noted that by 2030 at least 32% of Europe’s energy would need to come from renewables.
“This will provide a major boost to clean energy in Europe. It’s also very good that the agreement sets out concrete measures to help ensure countries deliver on contributing to that target. The five-year visibility on the support for renewables is crucial. This clarity helps the industry to make new investment decisions, plan ahead and reduce costs. The National Energy and Climate Plans will also be vital,” Dickson said.