The Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) saw MEPs debate 1,300 amendments to the European Commission’s initial proposal for a new directive on promoting renewable energy sources. ITRE is the lead Parliament committee on the draft directive, which is a key piece of the EU’s “energy union” package of legislation presented in November 2016.
Despite the huge amount of changes suggested by European lawmakers from across the political spectrum, a clear consensus emerged in favour of increasing the ambition of the Commission’s proposed renewable energy targets.
Rapporteur José Blanco López (Socialists and Democrats) insisted that “we need an agreement that goes further than 27%” target for 2030, arguing “This is a social issue.” Europe needs a new directive that “won’t be immediately obsolete,” explained the politician from the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party.
Renewable energy made up nearly nine-tenths of new power added to Europe’s electricity grids last year, in a sign of the continent’s rapid shift away from fossil fuels.
For 2020, individual EU member states were handed legally binding targets at national level in order to meet the EU-wide threshold of 20% renewables.
But this is no longer the case with the 27% for 2030, which is EU-wide and hasn’t been broken down into national objectives – which in any event will not be formally binding on the UK because of Brexit.
The committee is scheduled to vote on the directive report on 28 November 2017.
See also: Renewables After Brexit: Keynote UK conference: 1 Dec 2017 Dundee University