New EU ambitious agreement including targets for renewables was reached by Parliament, Council and Commission negotiators on Wednesday 13 June night.

Political agreement on the upcoming RES directive

In Brussels in 13 June 2018 an ambitious political agreement on increasing renewable energy use in Europe was reached between negotiators from the Commission, the European Parliament and the Council.

Main achievements:

  • Sets a new, binding, renewable energy target for the EU for 2030 of 32%, including a review clause by 2023 for an upward revision of the EU level target.
  • Improves the design and stability of support schemes for renewables.
  • Delivers real streamlining and reduction of administrative procedures.
  • Establishes a clear and stable regulatory framework on self-consumption.
  • Increases the level of ambition for the transport and heating/cooling sectors.
  • Improves the sustainability of the use of bioenergy.

Cleaner transports, greater use of second-generation biofuels

A minimum share of at least 14% of fuel for transport purposes must come from renewable sources by 2030. In particular:

  • first generation biofuel, based on food crops, must be capped at 2020 levels (with an extra 1%) and in no case exceed 7% of final consumption of road and rail transport;
  • the share of advanced biofuels and biogas must be at least 1% in 2025 and at least 3,5% in 2030.

Palm oil ban

Food-crop biofuels like palm oil, which have a high “indirect land use change” (ILUC, i.e. changing how land from non-crop cultivation, such as grasslands and forests, with a negative impact on CO2 emissions, is used), will be phased out through a certification process for low ILUC biofuels, which is to be set up.

Renewable Self-Consumer Era

According the provisional deal, member states must ensure that an EU consumer is entitled to become a renewable self-consumer, who may:

  • generate renewable energy for their own consumption, store and sell excess production;
  • install and operate electricity storage systems combined with installations generating renewable electricity for self-consumption, without liability for any double charge;
  • not to be subject to any charge or fee on self-consumed energy until 2026, with some limited exceptions foreseen thereafter; 
  • receive remuneration for the self-generated renewable electricity they feed into the grid;
  • join renewable energy communities to integrate self-consumption into the transition to cleaner energy.

Clean and digital heating/cooling sector

The provisional deal provides a sub-target of an indicative 1,3% yearly increase of renewables in heating and cooling installations, calculated on a period of 5 years starting from 2021.
Member states must ensure that information on energy performance and the share of renewables in their district heating and cooling systems is provided to final consumers in an accessible manner. Customers of district heating or cooling systems that are not efficient are allowed to terminate their contracts in order to produce heating or cooling from renewable energy sources themselves.

Next steps

Following this political agreement, the text of the Directive will have to be formally approved by the European Parliament and the Council. Once endorsed by both co-legislators in the coming months, the updated Renewable energy Directive will be published in the Official Journal of the Union and will enter into force 20 days after publication. Member States will have to transpose the new elements of the Directive into national law 18 months after its entry into force.

Sources: Europa.eu, Europark.europa.eu