The European institutions are currently working on several relevant legislative files for the bioenergy sector. They could agree on higher renewable targets.
REDII negotiations: a proposal for a 35% share of renewables introduced
On 17 January, the European Parliament (EP) approved draft measures to raise the share of renewable energy to 35% of the EU’s energy mix by 2030. This vote is part of the legislative process to revise the Renewable Energy Directive (known as ‘RED II’). Miguel Arias Cañete, the EU’s climate action Commissioner, expressed its support for this aim. The proposed target previously set by the Commission and supported by the Council amounted to 27%. The Parliament, the European Commission and EU national governments must now agree on a final compromise on the text before it becomes law.
In parallel with this, a study by the intergovernmental International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) also acknowledged that the EU could cost-effectively double its renewable share of energy to 34% by 2030.
***More about trialogue negotiations and EBA’s contribution (exclusive for EBA members)***: please read the document in the EBA members section – Internal Policy Papers. For any question about accessing the members’ zone, please contact email@example.com
New electricity market design: restrictive rules for most polluting plants and support for small scale renewables
On 21 February, MEPs voted to impose strict rules on state support mechanisms often used as coal power subsidies, and to support small-scale renewable energy producers. This vote took place within the negotiations on new EU electricity market regulation. The Industry, Reasearch and Innovation (ITRE) committee of the EP introduced into it a provision to allow ‘capacity remuneration mechanisms’ to support only power stations that emit less than 550g of CO2 per kilowatt hour of electricity from 2025, immediately in the case of new plants. This 550g criterion is promoted by the Make Power Clean campaign, in which EBA is involved.
The ITRE committee also supported the right of ‘priority dispatch’ into the electricity network for small-scale renewables projects to be maintained. In other terms, energy from small-scale renewables would be taken up by the grid before energy from other sources such as fossil fuel power. This provision is defended by the Small is Beautiful campaign, in which EBA is part. An agreement between the EP and the Member States needs to be found now.
New rules under the Waste Package will lead to more recycling of waste
On 23 February, the Council reached a provisional agreement with the EP on the waste package. According to a Council press release, the package will lead to more recycling of waste and contribute to the creation of a circular economy, improving the way waste is managed as well as encourage the re-use of valuable material embedded in waste.
The new rules establish legally binding targets for waste recycling and the reduction of landfilling with fixed deadlines. These targets will increase the share of municipal waste which is recycled, and reduce the amount of municipal waste which is landfilled. Member States will have to ensure that by 31 December 2023, bio-waste is either collected separately or recycled at source (such as home composting). The legislation will now be sent to the European Parliament for a vote and then to the Council for final adoption.
EBA is supportive of the direction that the EU institutions are taking and stands for more ambition for renewables, strong advanced biofuels targets, a technology neutral approach that supports all renewables, as well as for the creation of a unique EU framework for bioenergy sustainability that provides stability for industry while guaranteeing the protection of the environment.