Renewable Energies

Recent developments

On 21 May 2013, the European Parliament adopted its own initiaive resolution "Renewable energy in the European internal energy market". An analysis of the implications for the heating and cooling sector is available for EHI members in the members-only section.

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On 27 March 2013, the European Commission published its first Renewable Energy Progress Report under the framework of the 2009 Renewable Energy Directive. Since the adoption of this directive and the introduction of legally binding renewable energy targets, most Member States experienced significant growth in renewable energy consumption. 2010 figures indicate that the EU as a whole is on its trajectory towards the 2020 targets with a renewable energy share of 12.7%. Moreover, in 2010 the majority of Member States already reached their 2011/2012 interim targets set in the Directive. However, as the trajectory grows steeper towards the end, more efforts will still be needed from the Member States in order to reach the 2020 targets.

Heating is one of the sectors taken into consideration by this progress report. In particular, the heating sector is reported to have experienced limited progress in renewable energy developments and an analysis undertaken for the Commission indicates that the share of renewables in the heating and cooling sector may decline in the coming years, if barriers to renewables growth are not removed. The same condition indicates that the trend of the production of biomass for the heating sector towards the 2020 target could be lower than planned (using data, lower than 85 mtoe by 2020). Finally, the reports points out that in the heating and cooling sector it is difficult to develop uniform administrative procedures because of the disparate nature of different possible technologies used in these sectors.

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On 17 October 2012, the Commission published a proposal to limit global land conversion for biofuel production, and raise the climate benefits of biofuels used in the EU. The use of food-based biofuels to meet the 10% renewable energy target of the Renewable Energy Directive will be limited to 5%.

Proposal for a Directive amending Directive 98/70/EC relating to the quality of petrol and diesel fuels and amending Council Directive 93/12/EC and amending Directive 2009/28/EC on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources [COM(2012) 595]

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On 6 June 2012, the European Commission presented a Communication on its renewable energy policy, outlining options for the period beyond 2020. It confirms the market integration of renewables and the need for their growth in the decades after 2020.

Communication – Renewable energy: a major player in the European energy market [COM/2012/271]

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On 31 January 2011, the European Commission (EC) presented its Communication showing that the 2020 renewable energy policy goals are likely to be met and exceeded if Member States fully implement their national renewable energy action plans and if financing instruments are improved. It also stresses the need for further cooperation between Member States and a better integration of renewable energy into the single European market. Estimates indicate that such measures could lead to 10 billions Euros savings each year.

Communication "Renewable Energy: Progressing towards the 2020 target" [COM/2011/31]

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Legislative framework

The directive on the use of energy from renewable sources (2009/28/EC, also referred to as the “RES directive”) sets ambitious targets for all Member States, such that the EU will reach a 20% share of energy from renewable sources by 2020 and a 10% share of renewable energy specifically in the transport sector. It also improves the legal framework for promoting renewable electricity, requires national action plans that establish pathways for the development of renewable energy sources including bioenergy, creates cooperation mechanisms to help achieve the targets cost effectively and establishes the sustainability criteria for biofuels.

The Directive is part of a package of energy and climate change legislation which provides a legislative framework for Community targets for greenhouse gas emission savings. It encourages energy efficiency, energy consumption from renewable sources and the improvement of energy supply.

Member States are to establish national action plans which set the share of energy from renewable sources consumed in transport, as well as in the production of electricity and heating, for 2020.

Recent news items:

28 October 2011: RES-H Policy: Warming up to Renewable Heat - Boosting Renewables in the Heating Market

Renewable Energies
Renewable Energies
Renewable Energies
Renewable Energies