RED II proposals
Proposal by EC (Nov 2016)
On 30 November 2016, the European Commission launched a legislative package entitled ‘Clean energy for all Europeans’. This includes a recast of the existing Directive on the promotion of renewable energy sources (‘RES Directive’) to help meet the goals of the 2030 EU Climate and Energy Framework, in particular the binding target of a 27 % EU share of RES in final energy consumption by 2030. The recast directive would be aligned to related legislation on governance of the energy union and electricity market design, also proposed as part of the clean energy package.
Current European Parliament position
In October 2017, European Parliament committee ENVI, which is in lead for sustainability aspects, has voted on the proposed revised Renewable Energy Directive, RED II. A total phase out of crop-based biofuels by 2030 and the use of biomass for electricity production were endorsed, although by a very small majority. Palm oil biodiesel shall already be banned by 2021 under the revised RED.
Furthermore, the ENVI committee proposed that the European Union shall provide 35% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030, set nationally binding targets for renewable energy and set biomass sustainability standards (the first Commission proposal set 27% renewables without national subtargets). Draft legislation proposed by the MEPs on November 13 2017 also calls for the share of biofuels from food and feed crops to be no more than 7 percent of final consumption of energy in road and rail transport.
Regarding biomass, the proposal sets updated sustainability criteria for biofuels, bioliquids and biomass. According to information released by the European Parliament, the sustainability criteria aim to minimize the risk allowing unsustainable forest biomass to benefit from support schemes. Companies can show they comply with the sustainability criteria through national systems or so-called voluntary schemes recognized by the European Commission.
The Industry, Research and Energy Committee of the European Parliament (ITRE), which has the general lead for the RED2 proposal, has voted on 28 Nov 2017.
As a next step a full European Parliament vote in the plenary is needed. It is expected that the European Council gives a final decision on the matter in December, 2017.
Source and more information on latest RED II developments: European Parliament News.
Current Council position
On 18 December 2017, the EC Council adopted its position on a directive promoting the use of renewable energy. The new legislation addresses bioenergy, sustainability, transport, electricity, heating and cooling, and focuses on empowering consumers.
The main elements of the general approach are:
• Consumers will benefit from simplified notification procedures for small-scale installations, and the rights of 'renewable self-consumers' and renewable energy communities are now clear.
• Regarding heating and cooling, member states will have to adopt measures to achieve an indicative annual 1 % point increase in the share of renewable energy.
• In the transport sector, the renewables target for 2030 is set at 14% for each member state, and there is a sub-target of 3% for ‘advanced biofuels’, for which double-counting will be allowed. This advanced biofuels target has an binding milestone of 1% in 2025. E-mobility is encouraged by two multipliers of 5x for renewable electricity in road transport, and of 2x for rail transport.
• The existing 7% cap on first-generation biofuels is maintained. If a member state sets a lower cap, it will be rewarded with the option of lowering its overall target for renewables in transport.
• The directive also clarifies rules concerning the sustainability criteria and greenhouse gas emissions saving criteria that apply to biofuels, bioliquids and biomass fuels.
ETIP Bioenergy has launched a position paper on the European Commission proposal for a revised Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) in late October 2017.