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EU Parliament backs boost for renewables and energy savings

EU Parliament backs boost for renewables and energy savings
Markus Pieper (EPP, DE), lead MEP on the Renewable Energy Directive (photo courtesy Michel Christen, EP Audiovisual Services).

In the EU, MEPs voted to raise the share of renewables in the EU’s final energy consumption to 45 percent by 2030, under the revision of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) -a target also backed by the European Commission under its "RepowerEU" package.

The legislation also defines sub-targets for sectors such as transport, buildings, and district heating and cooling. In the transport sector, deploying renewables should lead to a 16 percent reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, through the use of higher shares of advanced biofuels and a more ambitious quota for renewable fuels of non-biological origin such as hydrogen.

Industry should boost its use of renewables by 1.9 percentage points per year, and district heating networks by 2.3 points.

Each Member State will have to develop two cross-border projects for the expansion of green electricity. Member States with annual electricity consumption of more than 100 TWh will have to develop a third one by 2030.

MEPs also adopted amendments calling for “phasing down the share of primary wood counted as renewable energy.”

Only the expansion of renewable energy means true independence. We strongly support the increased 2030 target of 45 percent. 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, and showed ways in which biogenic materials can make a real economic contribution to the energy transition, said Markus Pieper (EPP, DE), lead MEP on the Renewable Energy Directive.

The text was adopted on September 14, 2022, with 418 votes in favour, 109 against and 111 abstentions.

Energy savings

In a separate vote on September 14, MEPs also backed the revision of the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED), the law that sets energy-saving targets for both primary and final energy consumption in the EU.

MEPs raised the EU target for reducing final and primary energy consumption so that Member States must collectively ensure final energy consumption is reduced by at least 40 percent by 2030 and 42.5 percent in primary energy consumption compared to 2007 projections.

This corresponds to 740 and 960 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe) for final and primary energy consumption, respectively. Member states should set binding national contributions to achieve these targets.

The targets will be met through measures at local, regional, national and European levels, in different sectors – e.g. public administration, buildings, businesses, and data centres.

The text was adopted with 469 votes in favour, 93 against and 82 abstentions.

We are in a crisis where Putin is shutting off gas. One of our most effective answers to this is energy efficiency. It is crucial Parliament has today voted for ambitious and binding energy efficiency targets for the EU and for individual member states, said Niels Fuglsang (S&D, DK), rapporteur on the energy efficiency directive,

MEPs and the Czech Presidency of the Council will now enter into negotiations on the files, on which EU Ministers have set their position in June.

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