Adopted by 495 votes in favour the Directive on renewable energies, which passes its final step.
Socialist MEP José Blanco said that the Directive on renewable energy, which the European Parliament approved today by 495 votes in favour and 68 against, “puts Europe on the path of compliance with the Paris Agreements and the objectives of sustainable development”. “Today we can say that Europe is responding to the challenge of climate change,” he said during the plenary session.
José Blanco has been the European Parliament’s rapporteur for this Directive, which today has passed its final step, and will have to be transposed into national laws and regulations by 30 June 2021. “It is a great agreement”, Blanco stressed, “because we are going to double the current rate of renewables; we increase legal certainty and simplify administrative procedures, which is crucial for encouraging investments; and we increase the share of renewables in transport or heating”, which is going to have an impact on the fight against pollution.
The MEP also stressed that with this directive, Europe has placed citizens “at the heart of its energy policy, by enshrining for the first time the right to self-consumption, to produce, consume, store and sell surplus energy produced, by betting on extending the benefits of renewables to the most vulnerable citizens, contributing to the fight against energy poverty, and by promoting just energy transition measures, so that no one is left to their fate.
For José Blanco, the commitment to renewables means “reinforcing our energy independence”, and betting on “innovation, economic activity, quality employment in a sector where Europe lays the foundations for recovering world leadership”.
Main new features of the Directive:
– sets a binding target of 32% for the use of renewable energy by 2030, and includes a review clause in 2023, to raise the target if the production costs of renewable energy are substantially reduced, and also, if necessary, by international agreements arising from the fight against climate change.
– consecrates self-consumption as a right. It prohibits charges and taxes on self-consumed
energy, with some limited exceptions provided for, and also enshrines the right to remuneration for self-generated renewable electricity discharged into the grid.
– provides security and certainty for investors, simplifies administrative procedures through a one-stop shop and reduces processing times.
– increases the ambition to increase the share of renewables in the transport sector as well as in the heating and cooling sectors.
– high indirect land-use change (ILUC) biofuels will be phased out according to a certification process for low ILUC biofuels. For the first time, a consistent strategy has been put in place in this area.
– the promotion of advanced biofuels, leaving aside food and using instead materials such as forest or agricultural residues. All this will contribute to a zero waste model.
– additional Union funds to facilitate the just transition of coal-dependent regions to a higher share of renewables.
– commitment to reach the 15% electricity interconnection target by 2030, crucial for countries such as Spain, so that its potential in renewable production is not constrained by the impossibility of exporting.