Energy: new objectives for sustainable sources and efficiency
The Parliament approved a binding target for renewable energies (32% in 2030) and an indicative one on energy efficiency (32.5% in 2030), confirming the provisional agreement reached in June with the Council on energy efficiency and renewable energies together with the governance of the Energy Union – the three important legislative dossiers that are part of the Clean Energy package addressed to all Europeans. The legislation states that energy efficiency in the EU should be improved by 32.5% by 2030 and the share of energy from renewable sources should reach at least 32% of gross final consumption in the EU. Both targets will be revised by 2023 with the sole aim of increasing their maximum thresholds.
Cuts in the bill and the right to self-consumption of renewable energy for European citizens
By making energy more efficient, EU citizens will see the cost to their household and business budgets reduced. Europe will reduce its dependence on external oil and gas suppliers, improve air quality and protect the climate. For the first time, Member States will be required to establish specific energy efficiency measures for the benefit of people affected by energy poverty. Under the new legislative constraints, Member States are required to guarantee citizens the right to produce renewable energy for their own consumption, to store it and to sell excess production. Each member state must submit a 10-year “national integrated energy and climate plan” with national targets, contributions, policies and measures by 31 December 2019 and every ten years thereafter.
Transition to second generation biofuels
Second-generation biofuels can play a significant role in the reduction of carbon pollution from transport, for this purpose the threshold of 14% minimum of fuels from renewable sources for transport by 2030 has been set.
As a complement to this decision, from 2030 onwards, first generation biofuels with a high risk of “indirect land-use change” (i.e. when land is converted from non-agricultural crops – such as pastures and forests – to food production, causing an increase in CO2 emissions) will no longer be taken into account for EU renewable energy targets. Therefore, from 2019 the contribution of first generation biofuels to these targets will be gradually reduced to zero by 2030.