European Parliament proposes 35% EU RES target for 2030, reintroduction of binding national targets

23 May 2017 17:08 Source:ICIS

A draft report on the revision of the renewable energy directive (RED) for the period 2021-2030, which was leaked on Monday, calls for the EU to raise its 2030 renewable energy target to at least 35% and to re-introduce binding national targets, according to Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe.

The report is authored by Spanish MEP Jose Blanco Lopez, the rapporteur on the directive in the committee on industry, research and energy (ITRE) in the European Parliament.

As such, the report forms the basis of the parliament’s position on the directive, CAN Europe said.

The leaked document proposes raising the 2030 EU target for renewables in final energy consumption from the 27% put forward by the European Commission, to at least 35%, arguing that “the commission proposal and the European Council endorsement of the 27% target occurred before the signature of the Paris Agreement and were based on technology cost estimates which have already proven to be overly pessimistic and are now outdated”.

The document also called for the re-introduction of binding national targets for 2030, arguing that such national targets “have been the most important driver for renewable energy policies and investments in many member states”.

Unsurprising

The proposals are somewhat unsurprising given past statements made by the parliament. Before the revised directive was released in November 2016 the parliament had already called for biding national targets not to be scrapped, and for the EU-wide target to be at least 30% for 2030.

However, the new proposal for a target of at least 35% suggests a change in position, seemingly driven by the stated views on technology cost reductions.

For instance, last month two utilities were awarded tenders to build offshore wind projects in Germany without subsidy, in a development nobody foresaw even a year ago ( see EDEM 13 April 2017 ).

Legislative process

In the parliament, the text is first discussed and amended in committees before it is forwarded to the full plenary for a vote, due to take place in November.

In the council, the text will pass technical working groups and will be amended before the ministers vote on it.

In theory, if the parliament and the council agree on the same text it becomes law, if not it goes into “second reading” and the process is repeated.

However, in reality, both institutions, together with the commission, will at that point most likely meet for trialogue negotiations where they will pre-negotiate a text in order to avoid a second reading.

Last month the commission’s head of wholesale energy markets, Florian Ermacora, told ICIS that the updated RED could be passed as soon as this year ( see EDEM 03 April 2017 ).

But the differing opinions of the parliament and the council would suggest this time-line may prove optimistic.

For more information, see the ICIS Power Perspective on the revised renewable energy directive . matthew.jones@icis.com


By Matthew Jones