The European Commission is working on strengthening the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive. A preliminary agreement between the Parliament and the European Council calls for an increase in the EU’s 2030 renewable energy target. From 32% to at least 42.5%. This will be almost double the current production of alternative energy in the Community. In the course of the agreement, the target was assumed to be 45%. The adopted agreement brings the Union closer to completing its work on the “Ready for 55” package under the European Green Deal.

The spread of renewable energy production methods in the EU is aimed at pursuing energy independence and achieving the EU’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030. Scaling up and accelerating the deployment of new solutions across power generation, industry, construction and transportation will, over time, lead to lower energy prices and reduce the EU’s dependence on imported fossil fuels.

The new regulations provide for simplified procedures and simpler and faster permitting for the use of renewable energy, which will be considered an overriding public interest, while maintaining a high level of environmental protection. The proposed amendments to the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive stipulate that in areas with high potential for clean energy and low environmental risks, member states will designate special areas for accelerated development. They will have particularly short and simple permitting procedures for clean energy procurement.

Other changes introduced by the adopted agreement are the inclusion of industry as a major energy-consuming sector and the setting of indicative targets to be achieved (1.6% annual growth in renewable energy consumption). It is also expected to be binding to achieve a 42% share of renewable hydrogen in total industrial hydrogen consumption by 2030. The agreement strengthens the regulatory framework for the use of renewable energy in transportation and includes provisions to support the integration of the energy system through electrification and waste heat absorption. In addition, it is improving the guarantee of origin system (to inform consumers more effectively) and tightening the sustainability criteria for bioenergy.

The agreement is now a preliminary proposal for amendments to the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive. In order for the changes to come into effect, they will now be formally adopted by the Parliament and the European Council, and once this procedure is complete, they will be published as new regulations in the Official Journal of the EU.

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