Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools
You are here: Home Breaking news EU energy reforms disappoint critics

EU energy reforms disappoint critics

20 December 2017, 13:07 CET
— filed under: , ,
EU energy reforms disappoint critics

Photo by Arnold Paul cropped by Gralo

(BRUSSELS) - Member States agreed four legislative proposals under the EU's Clean Energy Package Monday, mapping Europe's energy transition over the coming decade, but disappointing environmental groups.

A directive promoting the use of renewable energy across the EU confirms a target of at least 27% renewable energy of Europe's overall energy consumption by 2030, and puts in place the appropriate framework and tools to achieve that goal.

The main elements are:

  • There will be simplified notification procedures for small-scale installations, and the rights and obligations of 'renewable self-consumers' as well as renewable energy communities are now clearly set out.
  • Regarding heating and cooling, member states will have to adopt measures to achieve an indicative annual 1 percentage 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. Electromobility is strongly encouraged by two multipliers of 5x for renewable electricity used in road transport, and of 2x for rail transport.
  • The existing 7% cap on first-generation biofuels is maintained to provide certainty to investors. 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.

The Council also agreed its negotiating position (general approach) on a regulation establishing the framework for an internal electricity market across the EU.

This regulation is one of the legislative proposals of the clean energy package and is the cornerstone of the redesign of the electricity market. It revises the rules and principles to ensure a well-functioning, competitive and undistorted electricity market with the aim of enhancing flexibility, decarbonisation and innovation.

In so doing, it is aimed at helping the EU transition towards a low-carbon economy and meeting the objectives of the Energy Union, in particular the 2030 climate and energy framework.

Thirdly, a regulation setting out the system for the governance of the Energy Union which integrates, climate and energy planning into a single framework. Part of the clean energy package, it establishes a cooperation and control mechanism to oversee the implementation of the 2030 EU climate and energy policy objectives and targets, in particular those regarding renewables, energy efficiency, interconnections and greenhouse gas emissions.

Finally, member states agreed on a directive setting out common rules to ensure that the internal electricity market in the EU is competitive, consumer-centred, flexible and non-discriminatory. The directive gives more rights to customers, provides a balanced solution for regulated prices, sets out a regulatory framework for energy communities and defines the roles and responsibilities of market participants.

The agreements were criticised by environmental groups as feeble, backing coal and stifling renewable energy. Greenpeace said they backed "coal and other fossil fuels over renewable energy", adding: "ministers moved to maintain controversial subsidies for energy utilities, including the most polluting coal plants. They also weakened European Commission proposals to empower households, cooperatives and municipalities to produce and sell their own renewable energy."

Climate Action Network Europe said the ministers "opted for a feeble renewable energy target, lax rules for ensuring that all EU countries contribute to the energy transition and massive coal subsidies in the EU's power market."

Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council, 18/12/2017

Document Actions