EU environment and energy ministers set a goal of having at least 27% of the EU’s energy come from renewables by 2030, up from the earlier target of 20% by 2020, in addition to setting a 14% target for renewable fuels in road transport by 2030, Reuters reported on 18 December.
In addition to the renewable fuel target, the ministers also recommended maintaining the bloc’s 7% cap on crop-based first generation biofuels.
The resolution on renewable energy targets under the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) will need to be approved next year by the European Council and the European Parliament, which has called for more ambitious green energy goals.
In October 2017, the European Parliament called for the total share of renewable energy to be increased to 35%, a target which a group of technology, industry and power companies also urged in December, said Reuters.
Miguel Arias Canete, the EU’s climate commissioner, said the level of ambition in the ministers’ ambition was “clearly insufficient” and that with falling renewables prices, the EU could reach a target of 30% with similar costs that had been estimated for the 27% target.
The European biodiesel industry welcomed the renewable fuel targets and the maintained 7% cap on first generation fuels, but was concerned about the provision for member states to reduce their own targets.
According to a group consisting of the European Oilseed Alliance, Fediol and the European Biodiesel Board (EBB), the country-specific targets could lead to internal market disruption and lower investor confidence.
Additionally, the group called for the removal of the possibility to distinguish between biofuels based on their perceived indirect land use change (ILUC) effect because there was no scientific consensus on the matter.
“In the upcoming trialogue negotiations with the European Parliament and the Commission, the RED II ambition should be increased as the current text does not ensure sufficient decarbonisation of the transport sector, especially for heavy duty vehicles, as well as aviation and maritime sectors where electrification is not a feasible solution,” Rafaello Garofalo, EBB secretary general, said.
The three-way talks on RED II were scheduled for early 2018.