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New EU renewable, energy efficiency rules enter into force Dec 24

Highlights

Fix 32% renewables, 32.5% efficiency goals for 2030

Draft national plans to achieve them due by end-year

Part of EU plan for net zero-carbon economy by 2050

Brussels — New EU rules fixing 2030 targets to source 32% of the EU's gross final energy demand from renewables and to improve the EU's energy efficiency by 32.5% will enter into force on Monday, having been published in the EU's Official Journal on Friday.

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The targets are part of the EU's efforts to move to a net-zero carbon economy by 2050, as set out in the European Commission's updated long-term 'climate neutral' strategy published in November.

The separate governance regulation for achieving the targets was published at the same time and applies directly in all 28 EU countries from Monday.

Governments have until June 30, 2021, to transpose the new renewables directive into national law, and until June 25, 2020 to transpose most of the new energy efficiency directive measures.

Both directives include reviews in 2023 to see if the 2030 targets should be increased.

The governance regulation requires national governments to submit their first draft 10-year national energy and climate plans setting out how they intend to help meet the EU's 2030 renewable and energy efficiency targets to the European Commission by December 31.

The renewables target is binding at EU level only, and the efficiency target is not binding at all, although the relevant directive has some binding measures.

These include an obligation for governments to achieve new yearly savings equal to at least 0.8% of final national energy demand from 2021 to 2030. That is reduced to 0.24% for Cyprus and Malta.

The EC will have to review the draft national commitments and see if they collectively meet the EU targets, following a process set out in the governance regulation.

National governments have to take account of the EC's recommendations in their finalized 10-year plans, due at the end of 2019.

CLEAN ENERGY PACKAGE NEARLY COMPLETE

These three files, along with the EU's updated energy performance in buildings directive published in the Official Journal in May, make up half of the clean energy package of legislation the EC proposed in November 2016.

The remaining four files, on electricity risk-preparedness, updated rules governing EU energy regulatory body ACER and two on power market design, have been agreed informally by the European Parliament and EU Council, representing the EU's 28 governments.

The EC expects all four to be formally adopted in the first half of 2019, it said Friday.

--Siobhan Hall, siobhan.hall@spglobal.com

--Edited by Alisdair Bowles, newsdesk@spglobal.com