RED and its amendments

Renewable Energy Directive 2009/28/EC

Renewable Energy Directive

  • Approval by European Parliament on 17 Dec 2008
  • By 2020, 20 % share of RES in final energy consumption, 20 % increase in energy efficiency
  • 10 % target for RES in transport in each Member State
  • National Renewable Energy Action Plans required by June 2010
  • Burden sharing for RES targets except transport
  • Harmonised approach with Fuel Quality Directive
  • No biofuel feedstock from carbon rich or biodiverse land
  • EC has to report on compliance with environmental and social sustainability criteria of major biofuel exporting countries
  • Minimum GHG reduction for biofuels 35% and 50% from 2017 on; 60% for new installations from 2017 on; for plants operating in Jan 2008 GHG requirement will start in Apr 2013 (amended in Directive (EU) 2015/1513)
  • Bonus of 29 g CO2/MJ for biofuels from degraded/contaminated land
  • EC proposal for incorporating indirect land use changes by the end of 2010; special clauses for plants built before 2013 (see Directive (EU) 2015/1513)
  • Biofuels from waste, residues, non food cellulosic material, and lignocellulosic material will count twice for RES transport target
  • Mass balance approach for certification of sustainability
  • EC will negotiate bilateral and multilateral agreements
  • Establishment of a committee for sustainability of biofuels


EBTP comments on the RED/FQD Review - a consensus of comments made by members of EBTP Working Group 4 Policy and Sustainability as well as members of the EBTP Steering Committee.
Renewable Energy Directive
•    Approval by European Parliament on 17 Dec 2008
•    By 2020, 20 % share of RES in final energy consumption, 20 % increase in energy efficiency
•    10 % target for RES in transport in each Member State
•    National Renewable Energy Action Plans required by June 2010
•    Burden sharing for RES targets except transport
•    Harmonised approach with Fuel Quality Directive
•    No biofuel feedstock from carbon rich or biodiverse land
•    EC has to report on compliance with environmental and social sustainability criteria of major biofuel exporting countries
•    Minimum GHG reduction for biofuels 35% and 50% from 2017 on; 60% for new installations from 2017 on; for plants operating in Jan 2008 GHG requirement will start in Apr 2013 (amended in Directive (EU) 2015/1513)
•    Bonus of 29 g CO2/MJ for biofuels from degraded/contaminated land
•    EC proposal for incorporating indirect land use changes by the end of 2010; special clauses for plants built before 2013 (see Directive (EU) 2015/1513)
•    Biofuels from waste, residues, non food cellulosic material, and lignocellulosic material will count twice for RES transport target
•    Mass balance approach for certification of sustainability
•    EC will negotiate bilateral and multilateral agreements
•    Establishment of a committee for sustainability of biofuels

Amendment of the Fuel Quality Directive and Renewable Energy Directive

On 9 September 2015, Directive (EU) 2015/1513, the "iLUC Directive", was published in the Official Journal of the European Community. This directive limits the way Member States can meet the target of 10% for renewables in transport fuels by 2020, bringing to an end many months of debate. There will be a cap of 7% on the contribution of biofuels produced from 'food' crops, and a greater emphasis on the production of advanced biofuels from waste feedstocks. Member States must then include the law in national legislation by 2017, and show how they are going to meet sub-targets for advanced biofuels.

Key elements of the amendment
The contribution of biofuels produced from 'food' crops (to the 10 % renewables in transport target) is capped at 7%
The other 3% will come from a variety of multiple counted alternatives:
•    Biofuels from Used Cooking Oil and Animal Fats (double counted)
•    Renewable electricity in rail (counted 2.5 times)
•    Renewable electricity in electric vehicles (counted 5 times)
•    Advanced biofuels (double counted)
•    Bench mark for the share of advanced biofuels in the transport sector of 0.5%
The agreement also includes the reporting and publishing of data on ILUC-related emissions on both national and European level.
Member States have to transpose the directive into national legislation by mid-2017, and establish the level of their national indicative sub-targets for advanced biofuels.

Feedstocks "counted double" under the proposed revision to the Renewable Energy Directive

See Fuel quality directive and renewable energy directive (P8_TA-PROV(2015)0100 Fuel quality directive and renewable energy directive II; European Parliament legislative resolution of 28 April 2015 on the Council position at first reading with a view to the adoption of a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 98/70/EC relating to the quality of petrol and diesel fuels and amending Directive 2009/28/EC on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources (10710/2/2014 – C8-0004/2015 – 2012/0288(COD)).

See also: Correction to the above document (this affects a single sentence).

In the Annex to the above proposal, the following feedstocks are considered to be non-food feedstocks (suitable for conversion to "advanced biofuels") and hence are counted double towards the 10% 2020 target for renewable fuels in transport under the RED.

Part A. Feedstocks and fuels whose contribution towards the target(s) referred to in Article 3(4) shall be considered to be twice their energy content:

(a) Algae if cultivated on land in ponds or photobioreactors

(b) Biomass fraction of mixed municipal waste, but not separated household waste subject to recycling targets under Article 11(2)(a) of Directive 2008/98/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 November 2008 on waste and repealing certain Directives.

(c) Bio-waste as defined in Article 3(4) of Directive 2008/98/EC from private households subject to separate collection as defined in Article 3(11) of that Directive.

(d) Biomass fraction of industrial waste not fit for use in the food or feed chain, including material from retail and wholesale and the agro- food and fish and aquaculture industry, and excluding feedstocks listed in Part B of this Annex.

(e) Straw.

(f) Animal manure and sewage sludge.

(g) Palm oil mill effluent and empty palm fruit bunches.

(h) Tall oil pitch.

(i) Crude glycerine.

(j) Bagasse.

(k) Grape marcs and wine lees.

(l)Nut shells.

(m) Husks.

(n) Cobs cleaned of kernels of corn.

(o) Biomass fraction of wastes and residues from forestry and forest-based industries, i.e. b ark, branches, pre-
commercial thinnings, leaves, needles, tree tops, saw dust, cutter shavings, black liquor, brown liquor, fibre sludge,
lignin and tall oil.

(p) Other non-food cellulosic material as defined in point r) of the second subparagraph of Article 2.

(q) Other ligno- cellulosic material as defined in point s) of the second subparagraph of Article 2 except saw logs and veneer logs.

(r) Renewable liquid and gaseous fuels of non-biological origin.

(s) Carbon capture and utilization for transport purposes, if the energy source is renewable in accordance with Article 2(a).

(t) Bacteria, if the energy source is renewable in accordance with Article 2(a).

Part B. Feedstocks whose contribution towards the target referred to in the first subparagraph of Article 3(4) shall be considered to be twice their energy content

(a) Used cooking oil.

(b) Animal fats classified as category I and II in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1069/2009 laying down health rules
as regards animal by-products and derived products not intended for human consumption and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1774/2002 (Animal by-products Regulation)
.