S.4.1. The Renewable Energy Directive

D.4.1. The Renewable Energy Directive

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MEPs vote on amending EU RES and energy efficiency targets

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The ITRE Committee adopted a common position to increase the 2030 EU-wide RES and energy efficiency targets

The EP’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) voted on two of the crucial Directives that are part of the “Clean Energy for All Europeans” Package, namely those on the ‘Promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources (recast)’ (RES Directive) and ‘Energy Efficiency’. Following a heated campaign and a number of very close votes on the energy efficiency proposals, the ITRE Members reached a common position that implies boosting EU efficiency and RES targets compared to the EC’s proposals.

During the vote on the RES Directive, the MEPs backed the Report of José Blanco López with 43 in favour and 14 against. Although backed by a wide margin, some of the green MEPs, as well as environmental NGOs, consider that the adopted amendments are not ambitious enough and represent a “missed opportunity”. Nevertheless, the MEPs backed the proposal to increase the EC’s 27% RES target to 35% with no binding national targets. Additionally, the ITRE Members voted in favour of adopting a 10% “flexibility” margin, which would allow Member States to fail to reach their targets in exceptional circumstances.

On the other hand, the vote on the Energy Efficiency Directive proved a lot more polarising on the various amendments tabled by the Rapporteur, Adam Gierek. In final vote, the proposal for a binding 40% efficiency goal for 2030 was adopted with 33 MEPs in favour and 32 against. The ITRE Members also adopted a proposal to set binding national 2030 targets for energy efficiency.

The contents of the ITRE Members’ final decision on the RES Directive are similar to the ENVI Committee’s non-binding Opinion (see news of 24 October 2017: ‘Environment MEPs propose to increase 2030 EU RES goals’). The representatives of the EU Member States, who have a meeting on 18 December 2017, have yet to reach a final agreement on a joint position, which would allow the texts to move into the so-called trialogue talks with the EC and the EP.

If all talks and meetings between the Institutions go according to plan, the amended RES and Energy Efficiency Directives could become law in 2018.