With 70% support, the plenary session of the European Parliament yesterday approved the report for a new directive that increases target to 35% of renewables by 2030. The document, of which Spanish Socialist MEP José Blanco is a proposer, also foresees the ban to palm oil in biofuels from 2021 and supports self-consumption without penalties such as the “sun tax”.
In addition to this report, which also requests that 12% of the energy used by the transport sector in 2030 be from renewable sources, two others concerning energy efficiency and governance of the Energy Union have been approved. After this vote the talks with the Council, which worked towards other less ambitious objectives, can start immediately, since the ministers have already fixed their position on the three texts (energy efficiency, renewable energy and governance of the Energy Union) as we already published days ago.
The text on renewables, which moved forward with 492 votes in favour, 88 against and 107 abstentions, establishes that, in order to reach the global target of 35% by 2030, national targets must also be set. Countries may deviate from these figures up to 10% under certain circumstances.
The plenary supported the changes introduced by the parliamentary committee in said report to ensure that consumers who produce electricity can consume it, as well as install storage systems, without having to pay taxes or fees for it.
35% of renewables
The negotiating mandate also calls on Member States to assess barriers to self-consumption and to enable consumers, particularly households, to join renewable producing communities without requirements or unjustified procedures, the EP said in a statement.
As for biomass, the Parliament calls for specific measures to avoid incentives to non-sustainable use of the same for energy production when industrial alternatives or materials that provide greater added value exist. Thus, they are committed on the use of scrap and waste to produce energy.
With regards to transport, the report states that by 2030, each Member State must ensure that 12% of the energy used by the transport sector comes from renewable sources and that the contribution of “first generation” biofuels (made from food and feed) should be limited to the level of 2017, with a maximum of 7%, both for road and rail journeys. In addition, MEPs want to ban the use of palm oil from 2021.
Biofuels and electric vehicle
The share of advanced biofuels (whose impact on land use is lower than that of those made from food and feed), renewable fuels for transport of non-biological origin, fuels derived from waste and renewable electricity should reach 1, 5% in 2021, progressively increasing to reach 10% in 2030.
Likewise, at the end of 2022, 90% of the petrol stations on the roads within the trans-European networks must be equipped with charging points for electric vehicles.
In a subsequent press conference, José Blanco Lopez (S & D, Spain), explained that his proposal, in addition to reinforcing the right to self-consumption, offers security and certainty to investors and raises ambitions for the decarbonization of the transport, heating and cooling sectors.
He described the European Council’s proposal, which aims to maintain renewable consumption target by 27%, in the same terms the Commission itself initially used, as “stingy and erratic“. But at the same time, he was optimistic that in the negotiations with the Council, great goals will be achieved “to meet this important challenge to overcome all the obstacles to combat climate change that is there and, therefore, it is not an option to face it, but an obligation.”
The reactions in Spain to the approval of the report were not far behind. APPA Renovables welcomes the European Parliament commitment and urges the Spanish Government to respect the will of European citizenship. “The support of Minister Nadal is necessary to get the European Council- which currently defends 27%- to commit on a more ambitious Energy Transition in the European Union,” they said yesterday.
The Wind Business Association, for its part, considers that the objective is approachable and even surmountable. “With this new quota of 35%, the European Union demonstrates its support for the European wind industry and the economic benefits that this sector generates in the continent,” they said while recalling that the contribution of wind power in Spain will be 30 % in the electric mix in year 2030, with an installed wind power of 40,000 MW.
Efficiency and Governance
The legislative project on energy efficiency got the support of 485 MEPs, while 132 voted against and 58 abstained. The Parliament voted in favour of a binding 35% target for the Union and indicative thresholds for each country. This objective will be calculated from the projection of energy consumption for 2030 according to the PRIMES model (which simulates the consumption and supply of energy in the EU).
On the other hand, the text on governance of the Energy Union was approved with 466 favourable votes, 139 against and 38 abstentions. It establishes that before January 1, 2019 and every ten years thereafter, each Member State must send an integrated plan on energy and climate to the Commission. The Commission will assess the programs and may make recommendations or adopt measures if it considers that sufficient progress has not been made or all the necessary actions have not been taken. The first plan must cover the period from 2021 through 2030.