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EU Parliament votes to increase renewable energy targets

12 September 2023

The European Parliament has voted to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy, in line with the EU Green Deal and REPowerEU plans. The updated Renewable Energy Directive (RED) will raise the legally binding renewable energy target in the EU’s final energy consumption to 42.5% by 2030, from the current target of 32%.

The legislation was adopted with 470 votes to 120, with 40 abstentions. It still has to be formally endorsed by the EU Council to come into law.

The RED updates have been negotiated among EU governments for several months, and an agreement was reached only after France secured concessions for hydrogen produced using nuclear energy.

The updated Directive will speed up procedures to grant permits for new renewable energy power plants, such as solar panels or wind turbines. National authorities should take no longer than 12 months to approve new renewable energy installations, if located in so-called “renewables go-to areas”. Outside such areas, the process should not exceed 24 months.

In the transport sector, renewables deployment should lead to a 14.5% reduction in GHG emissions by 2030, by using a greater share of advanced biofuels and a more ambitious quota for renewable fuels of non-biological origin, such as hydrogen.

The legislation also requires member states to set an indicative target for innovative renewable energy technology of at least 5% of newly installed renewable energy capacity, as well as a binding framework for cross-border energy projects.

“I am looking forward to seeing pilot projects for floating solar cells, wind kites, run-of-river power plants or other projects we cannot imagine yet,” said Markus Pieper, the MEP who negotiated the law.

The share of gross final energy consumption from renewable sources at EU level reached 21.8% in 2021, the latest year for which official data is available. Approximately the same renewable energy share was recorded in 2020.

Source: EU Parliament