EU agrees targets to boost renewable energy by 2020

09 December 2008 12:52  [Source: ICIS news]

EU agrees 2020 renewables targetsPARIS (ICIS news)--Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and the French EU presidency agreed a package on Tuesday aimed at ensuring that 20% of the EU's energy is produced from renewable sources by 2020.

Negotiators finally gave in to demands from Italy for a review of the targets in 2014, but said the evaluation would “not affect the overall 20% target but serve to improve, if necessary, the efficiency of cooperation mechanisms”.

The so-called “cooperation mechanisms” will allow EU member states to achieve their national renewable targets through joint projects with other member states.  

The compromise set a 10% renewables target for the transport sector to be reached through renewable electricity for trains and electric cars, as well as greater use of biofuels.

To avoid the potentially negative effects of biofuels, the compromise said that second-generation biofuels produced from waste, residues, or non-food cellulosic and ligno-cellulosic biomass would be double-credited towards the 10% target.

Compared with fossil fuels, all biofuels must save at least 35% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to be counted towards the target, according to the agreed package.

The European Commission will develop a methodology to measure the GHG emissions caused by indirect land-use changes resulting from biofuels production.

The compromise was welcomed by the European Bioethanol Fuel Association (eBIO).

“This directive will [en]sure that only those biofuels that comply with unprecedentedly strict environmental and social sustainability standards can be used,” said eBIO President Ramón de Miguel.

Green MEP Claude Turmes said the deal was “a source of encouragement at the beginning of the week in which EU leaders will meet to decide on whether the EU keeps it leadership and credibility on climate policies”.

The compromise must now be formally endorsed by all member states and is expected to be put to a first-reading vote during the Parliament's plenary session in Strasbourg on 15-18 December.

EU leaders hope a summit in Brussels on 11-12 December will lead to agreement on the energy package, which aims to cut EU GHG emissions by 20% by 2020.

Bookmark Simon Robinson’s Big Biofuels Blog for some independent thinking on biofuels
Bookmark Doris de Guzman’s
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By: Philippa Jones
+44 20 8652 3214

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