With the COP24 climate change conference well under way in Katowice, the EU yesterday signed off on three measures from its Clean Energy Package, including requirements to cut the red tape associated with rooftop solar, and to remove charges related to self-consumption.
A revised draft of the European Commission’s Renewable Energy Directive will compel the bloc to source at least 32% of the energy consumed by its member states from renewable sources by 2030, with the new target set to be enshrined in law on Christmas Eve.
The directive, announced in November and finally adopted by the EU Council yesterday, will consider the need to revise up that target in light of continued falls in the price of renewable energy generation, more stringent international CO² reduction targets, or a fall in energy consumption across its member states.
The legislation also calls for the removal of fees and charges related to household consumption, with the directive stating: “Member states should, therefore, generally not apply charges to electricity produced and consumed within the same premises by renewables self consumers.”
In another nod to the central role played by PV in Europe’s energy transition, the legislation demands a simplified notification procedure related to grid connected small-scale renewable energy generation systems.
Energy efficiency target upgraded
The new renewable energy mandate is lower than the ambitious 49% national target already announced by Sweden, the 40% aim of Latvia and figures of 38% in Finland and 34% for Austria, but higher than the other member states that will remain after Britain leaves the bloc in March. The upgraded ambition marks a significant leap for many member states, especially Luxembourg, with its 11% ambition; Malta (10%); and Belgium, the Czech Republic and Cyprus (13%). The U.K. currently aims to meet 15% of its energy demand from renewables by 2030, according to the EU.
With the European Union hoping to play a central role in Katowice, the revised directive was adopted on the same day as an equivalent measure related to energy efficiency, which mandated 32.5% in energy savings from the bloc by the same 2030 mark. That directive demands 25 of the nations that will make up the EU after Brexit find energy savings of at least 0.8% annually from 2021-2030. Island nations Malta and Cyprus must find savings of only 0.24% per year, due to the high energy demands accounted for by aviation in their economies.
The energy efficiency directive also calls for minimum requirements related to energy use in new and renovated buildings to be rolled out more widely across member states.
A governance regulation formed the third plank of the three measures related to the Clean Energy Package introduced in November 2016, agreed by the European Parliament in June and approved for passage into law last month. The governance legislation sets out a path to hitting the new renewables and energy efficiency targets.