S&D MEP Jose Blanco reached a deal to ensure ambitious targets for renewable energy

After months of difficult negotiations, the Parliament’s negotiator, José Blanco, reached a final deal with the EU Council to ensure an ambitious target to increase the use of renewable energy in the EU. Despite initial opposition from member states, the S&D MEP secured a binding target of 32% share of renewable energy in the EU by 2030.

The Parliament’s negotiator for renewable energy, S&D MEP José Blanco, said:

“We have substantially improved the initial proposal by the European Commission, and supported by the Council, which required a share of just 27% of renewable energy by 2030. We finally managed to reach a compromise on a binding target of 32% of renewables in the energy mix by 2030. A compromise that includes a review clause in 2023 to revise it upwards in case of substantial cost reductions in renewable energy production, or if necessary to meet new international climate change obligations.

“For the first time we put in place a consistent strategy, avoiding false solutions like using palm oil. High indirect land use change (ILUC) biofuels will be phased out through a certification process for low ILUC biofuels, which is to be established.

“We disincentivise investments in new production of food crop-based biofuels. With the deal reached last night, first generation biofuels will be capped at the level consumed in each member state in 2020, with an additional 1% point allowed (always with a cap of 7%).

“We must push for the development and use of advanced biofuels, leaving aside food-based crops and instead using materials such as forest residues, agricultural waste and manure from livestock. All this will contribute to a zero-waste model, which is also more ethical.

“We also managed to reinforce self-consumption as a right, and included the Parliament’s wish for a ban on charges and fees on self-consumed energy until 2026, with some limited exceptions foreseen thereafter, as well as enshrining the right to be remunerated for the self-generated renewable electricity fed into the grid at market value.

“The new directive will bring security and certainty to investors. It will simplify the administrative procedures for renewable energy projects to obtain permits by way of strict timeframes for the permit-granting procedure and one-stop-shops to give project promoters one single contact point for the entire permit-granting process.

“There is also agreement to raise the ambition for the use of renewables in the transport sector, as well as the heating and cooling sectors.”

S&D vice-president for sustainability MEP Kathleen Van Brempt added:

“I want to congratulate our rapporteur José Blanco with the attained result. This ambitious deal will place the EU back at the forefront of renewable technologies. It will spur innovation, spark investments, create jobs, reduce our dependency on the import of fossil fuels from geopolitically unstable regimes and reduce air pollution. It will also deliver an indispensable contribution towards our Paris climate goals”.