The EU Energy Ministers have reached an agreement on Monday on revisions to the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) and the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED), aiming to accelerate renewable energy deployment and facilitate permission process for renewable plants.
The Ministers will finalize the rules in negotiations with the European Parliament in fall.
The bloc is committed to achieving a 55% decrease in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. To reach the goal, renewables must be deployed beyond the power sector. Member States have thus agreed to review and remove impediments to corporate renewable energy purchase agreements.
The EU Energy Council reached an agreement on a revised RED and EED. In their revisions to the RED, EU Energy Ministers added major parts of the REPowerEU Action Plan, the EU’s energy response to the situation in Ukraine, and emphasizes the importance of accelerating the deployment of domestic renewables to ensure energy security amid the ongoing war in Ukraine.
They agreed that the expansion of renewables, as well as the associated construction of on- and offshore grid infrastructure, should be viewed as an issue of “overarching public interest” and “public safety” throughout Europe.
To ensure the necessary build-out of renewables, EU Energy Ministers agreed on specific timetables for permission process of new project as well as repowering project, which involves installations of new or upgraded technologies to improve the energy performance and efficiency.
Europe plans to install 510 GW of wind energy by 2030, up from 190 GW currently, meaning that 39 GW of wind farms have to be built every year. “Europe will only achieve that if it speeds up permitting,” says WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson.
He added that all new wind farms should be approved within two years and governments must ensure that this timetable applies to all licenses, including environmental impact assessments and grid permissions.
On top of its position on permission acceleration, the EU Energy Ministers also agreed on Monday to raise the share of renewable energy in the bloc’s energy production from 32% to 40%, and to cut energy 9% against expected levels. Member states will have to increase their national contribution in the next two years, so that the EU can collectively achieve its new target, according to a press release.