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       Energy and Environment 09/12/2008
MEPs and Council Presidency reach deal on renewables directive

MEPs and the Council's Presidency reached an informal compromise on a proposed directive which establishes mandatory national targets to be achieved by the Member States, so as to ensure that the EU will reach its climate target of at least 20% renewable energy in the total energy consumption by 2020.


Satisfied with the agreement, Parliament's rapporteur, Claude Turmes (Greens/EFA, LU) said: "This is a good day for climate and energy security in Europe. With this major legislation renewable energy will be put at the very heart of EU energy policies and at the same time reinvigorate the European economy and jobs through green technology investments".



2014 review will not change the 20% target


On Tuesday morning MEPs and the Council Presidency solved the last outstanding issue: they agreed that the Commission's evaluation of the implementation of the directive, which is to take place by 2014, will not affect the overall 20% target but will serve to improve, if necessary, the efficiency of cooperation mechanisms.



Achieving national targets jointly through cooperation mechanisms


The political agreement fully incorporated the Industry Committee's proposals for cooperation mechanisms to allow Member States to:


Ø      run joint projects with one or more Member States on green electricity production, heating or cooling;

Ø      transfer renewable energy "statistically" between each other;

Ø      join or partly coordinate their national support schemes.


The compromise also adds the possibility to count green electricity consumed in a Member State but produced by newly constructed joint projects with third countries.



10% target for the transport sector


The informal compromise backs the target of at least 10% renewable energies in the transport sector by 2020:


"second-generation" biofuels produced from waste, residues, or non-food cellulosic and ligno-cellulosic biomass will be double credited towards the 10% target;

renewable electricity for trains will be counted only once;

renewable electricity consumed by electric cars will be considered 2.5 times its input;

to be counted biofuels must save at least 35% of greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil fuels; from 2017 greenhouse gas emission savings of existing installations must be at least 50%, those of new installations at least 60%;

the Commission will develop a methodology to measure the greenhouse gas emissions caused by indirect land use changes - that is when crops for biofuels production are grown in areas which have previously been used to grow a food crop and this food crop production then moves to other areas which were not in use before (e.g. existing forests).


Ø      The informal compromise will now be tabled to a first-reading plenary vote at the December II session.



Juliane Kammer

Press Service

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