The EU has formally adopted the new Renewables Energy Directive raising the 2030 target for the share of renewable energy in the EU's overall energy consumption from 32% to 42.5%, the Council said Oct. 9.
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The so-called RED III was adopted after months of wrangling despite a general agreement in June following a vote in the Council with only Poland and Hungary voting against it.
Member states now have 18 months to adjust national legislation accordingly.
"It is a step forward which will contribute to reach the EU's climate targets in a fair, cost-effective and competitive way," said Teresa Ribera, the acting energy minister of Spain, which currently chairs the Council.
Energy ministers are to meet Oct. 17 in Luxembourg for meeting under the Spanish Presidency with focus on Electricity Market Design.
Renewables covered 21.8% of EU final energy consumption in 2021.
In the power sector, renewables already covered over 45% of EU electricity demand so far this year, according tp system data aggregated by Fraunhofer ISE.
New sub-targets for transport, industry and the buildings sector are to speed-up the integration of renewables in sectors where uptake has been slower.
In transport, member states can choose between a binding target of a 14.5% reduction of greenhouse gas intensity from the use of renewables by 2030 or a binding share of 29% of renewables within final energy consumption in transport.
Currently, the share of RES in transport is still only around 10%, little changed over the past decade.
Advanced biofuels (generally derived from non-food-based feedstocks) have a new binding target of a 5.5% share.
Within this target, there is a 1% minimum requirement for renewable fuels of non-biological origin (RFNBOs) by 2030.
For industry, the directive requires an annual increase for the use of renewable energy of 1.6% as well as a 42% share for renewable hydrogen used by industry in 2030.
Member states will have the possibility to discount the contribution of RFNBOs in industry use by 20% if national contributions to the binding overall EU target meets their target or if the share of gray hydrogen consumed is below 23% in 2030.
For heating and cooling, RED III sets a 49% indicative target for renewable energy share in buildings in 2030 as well as a binding annual increase of 1.1% from 2026 to 2030.
EU adopts RED III targeting 42.5% RES share in 2030
|Industry||Annual 1.6% RES increase to 2030|
|H2 in industry||42% share of RFNBO (green H2) in 2030|
|Buildings||49% share of renewables by 2030|
|Transport||29% share of renewables by 2030 or 14% drop in CO2 intensity|
|H2 in transport||5.5% share of advanced biofuels or RFNBOs with 1% hydrogen|
Source: Council of the European Union
Faster RES permitting
Key part of RED III is acceleration of permitting procedures for renewable energy projects.
The purpose is to fast-track the deployment of renewable energies within the context of the EU's REPowerEU plan, which already provides temporary support for special measures by national governments.
Renewable energy deployment will be presumed to be of "overriding public interest," limiting the grounds for legal objections to new installations.
Member states will also design renewables acceleration areas where renewable energy projects will undergo simplified and fast permit-granting process, it said.
Solar power growth is currently on track to meet its projected targets, but wind power lags behind with the European Commission planning to boost the sector with a new package to be unveiled Oct. 24.
Solar power in the EU is on track to generate almost 200 TWh this year, up almost 50% compared to 2021, system data showed.
Capture prices for solar in fast growing markets like Germany and Spain have fallen back to pre-crisis levels, according to Platts Renewable Energy Price Explorer.
Platts assessed solar capture prices averaged Eur83/MWh in Spain and Eur74/MWh in Germany in the third quarter, S&P Global Commodity Insights data showed.
EU Renewables supply annual share (2021)