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ITRE back boost for renewables use and energy savings

ITRE back boost for renewables use and energy savings
Markus Pieper (EPP, DE), lead MEP on the Renewable Energy Directive (photo courtesy Emilie Gomez / EP Audiovisual Services).

MEPs in the Committee on Industry, Research, and Energy (ITRE) have 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 II) - a target also backed by the European Commission under its "REPowerEU" package.

On July 13, 2022, the European Parliament Committee on Industry, Research, and Energy (ITRE) adopted its reports on the revision of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) and the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) of the “Fit for 55 in 2030 package”, the European Commission’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 55 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels and have net-zero GHG emissions (climate neutrality) by 2050 in line with the European Climate Law.

Under RED II, the EU is obliged to ensure at least 32 percent of its energy consumption comes from renewable energy sources (RES) by 2030.

MEPs doubled the number of cross-border projects for the expansion of green electricity to two projects per Member State. Member States with the highest annual electricity consumption will be obliged to adopt a third project by 2030.

ITRE also demands that Member States set an indicative target for innovative renewable energy technology of at least 5 percent of newly installed renewable energy capacity.

MEPs also insisted on the transparency of green electricity components and the simplification of hydrogen ramp-up, including a simpler system for guaranteeing its origin.

Only the expansion of renewable energy means true independence. Our vote demonstrates strong support for the increased 2030 target of 45 percent. 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, said Markus Pieper (EPP, DE), lead MEP on the Renewable Energy Directive.

In the transport sector, renewables deployment 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.

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, Markus Pieper said.

Energy savings

In a separate vote also on July 13, 2022, ITRE MEPs 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 – the Member States should collectively ensure a reduction of energy consumption of at least 40 percent by 2030 in final energy consumption 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 should be achieved through measures at local, regional, national, and European levels, in different sectors such as public administration, buildings, businesses, and data centres.

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 the individual Member States, commented  Niels Fuglsang (S&D, DK), rapporteur on the Energy Efficiency Directive.

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