OPP Meeting Summary: Energy Council – Promotion of renewable energy (18 December 2017)

A summary of the debate on the general approach is available.

Energy Council – 18 December 2017
Clean Energy Package
Directive on renewable energy (recast)
General approach
15236/17 + ADD 1
+ COR 1
15120/16 REV 1
+ ADD 1 REV 1
View related documents and the next stage of the procedure in the Policy Pipeline


The Estonian Presidency made the following opening remarks

  • there had been changes in art.23 and 25 after the last Coreper discussion;
  • the Presidency had tried to address the individual member states (MS) concerns without compromising the overall objective of the proposal.

European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete 

  • a more collective and Europeanised approach to renewables was needed because the region had a strong competitive advantage and it was already benefiting from the decrease in the technology costs;
  • for instance, since 2009, European countries had experienced a decrease in the cost in solar power of 70/80% and of 20/30% in wind power;
  • the Commission was working to collect data on cost assumptions and found that the impact of targets higher than 27% was not only comforting but in certain cases compelling. According to the Commission’s data, a 30% target would be as effective as the 27% one and it would have the same costs;
  • in this context, the proposal was a well-calculated effort that accommodated all MS to ensure a gradual and cost-effective transition to renewable energy;
  • it should not be confined to the electricity sector but it should be broader;
  • concerning the transport sector: the Council had opted for a hybrid model that incorporated national sub-targets instead of choosing only the Commission’s proposal concerning blending obligation for fuel suppliers. The commission was ready to accept it as long as it did not undermine the purpose of the target itself;
  • however, in his view, a 14% hybrid target was not sufficiently ambitious;
  • the EU was already one of the biggest market for electric vehicles, and a bigger target would encourage investments, tackle competition coming from Asian countries, reinforce the EU sustainability criteria and maximise environmental and climate benefits;
  • concerning heating and cooling: it accounted for half of the EU energy demand, therefore the Commission proposed a significant transition and asked MS to introduce measures that increased the use of renewable by 1% yearly starting from 2020;
  • administrative simplification and permit-granting were also needed to encourage investments and protect consumers, as they should not be penalised for participating in the market;
  • guarantee of origin should be made compulsory at least for electricity;
  • lastly, the Commission would announce a support scheme for renewable in cross border projects, as it would be crucial to ensure fully legal operability of the market.

Belgium

  • concerning art. 19 (23 and 25): the Council should keep insofar as possible legal certainty for existing installations and avoid administrative burdens. Belgium understood that art.19 was aimed at avoiding overcompensation, but sufficient room for manoeuvre for the MS was needed;
  • regarding legal certainty (art.6): an appropriate scope was needed and the conditions needed to be clarified in order to avoid a retroactive mechanism which might have negative effect on existing installations and would threaten investors security. Therefore, they suggested that it should be applied to new installations, namely those put after the date of entry into force of the Directive;
  • they considered the wording in art.19 (8) too vague. The term ‘shall’ must replace the word ‘may’ as such word would create uncertainty for the consumers and open the electricity market to ‘allegations’. Only the guarantee of origin should be used as a basis for complaints;
  • concerning transport: the 14% commission target was too hard to achieve given the cost-effectiveness criteria. 12% was the maximum achievable and the most realistic one;
  • regarding flexibility for other percentages: a compromise of 3% advance biofuels was possible;
  • no double counting should be allowed as it would send the wrong signal;
  • cooling and heating: Belgium indicative figure for member states target was possible because there were many measures needed to achieve a reduction of CO2 emissions in non-ETS sectors, but a clarification in art.23 was needed in order to avoid increasing administrative burdens.

Denmark

  • technology in renewable had become significantly cheaper since 2014, therefore a more ambitious target for 2030 should be considered. They believed that working with the Parliament to achieve a higher target would sent the right political message;
  • achieving a transition towards renewables in the heating and cooling sector was crucial. Denmark therefore supported an explicit but non-binding target for the growth in renewable in the heating and cooling sector;
  • they were happy with the flexibility allocated in the proposal, which took into account the starting point of the MS: by 2020, 71% of the heating sector in Denmark would consist of renewable;
  • they agreed with the inclusion of renewable in the transport sector and the need for a midterm review, as biofuels were not sustainable and the target should not be met with their use. Technology in the transport sector was moving very fast, therefore it should not be excluded that electricity could do without biofuels in the next few years.

Finland 

  • the Presidency proposal on RED II in the transport sector had moved in the right direction;
  • Finland agreed with the principle and the structure of the proposed application for renewable energy in transport, but it was very important that such application covered biofuels along with renewable fuels of non-biological origin. Equally important was to separate sub-targets for advanced biofuels;
  • keeping the context of annex 9 unchanged would strengthen investors’ confidence;
  • the present proposal also contained flexibility for MS to take into account national circumstances;
  • the only unsatisfactory part in their view was the low-level of ambition of the targets and the introduction of double counting for biofuels and biogas, which they could not support in their present form;
  • the target should be closer to the original Commission target and raised to 6% if double counting was introduced;
  • regarding part b of Annex 9, there was no need to apply double counting;
  • in their view, the general transport target should be at least 15%;
  • it was important to ensure sustainability of bioenergy. Both bioenergy and forestry biomass will play a key role in the renewable energy mix in the future;
  • regarding heating and cooling: in Finland 57% in renewable heating was already achieved in 2017;
  • MS should have flexibility in increasing the share of renewable energy further;
  • the Presidency proposal also avoided unnecessary administrative burdens and Finland could support it.

Sweden

  • the Directive set a baseline for the EU as a whole as well as for each MS when it comes to renewable, as everyone would contribute. The Proposal also allowed MS which were early movers to go further;
  • the current proposal stroke a balance on a number of sensitive issues, in particular concerning sustainability criteria for biomass and the opening for support schemes for renewable electricity. That was a delicate balance that left little or no room for compromise in the coming negotiations with the Parliament;
  • heating and transport sector would play a crucial role in meeting the long-term target, therefore Sweden preferred an ambitious plan in both areas;
  • concerning transport , Sweden fully agreed with the Presidency proposal and the sub-target for advanced biofuels in part a of Annex 9;
  • the proposal set a minimum level of ambition for MS as well as some flexibility on how to achieve the required shares, but with 95% of fuels in the sector still being fossil-fuel, the number should be higher;
  • they were pleased that the overall target was raised from 12 to 14%, but like Finland, they still argued for 15% if double counting was introduced and if MS could opt out conventional biofuels from the target;
  • ambition level for advanced biofuels was more problematic for them. They welcomed the new milestone for 2025, but there were no clear levels to be achieved before that;
  • the level of ambition for 2030 also drastically dropped since double counting was allowed. Sweden supported a 3.6% target without double counting, closer to the Commission’s proposal.

Luxembourg

  • one of the biggest steps forward in the Commission proposal was art.5 concerning the support mechanisms for cross border States, but it had disappeared from the Presidency proposal
  • one of the way to achieve the renewable targets was to make the best possible use of the community dimension: in Europe there was huge potential for synergy between MS;
  • the new Directive should be a new step forward in developing a European dimension, that’s why they welcomed the platform creation for renewable in art.8 which would lead to the promotion of data exchange between MS;
  • concerning transport: the sector was responsible for more than 20% of carbon emissions, but electrification would bring a lot of jobs and growth. Luxembourg welcomed the developments in art.25 and thought that the sector was put in the right place in the text;
  • the text however, was too similar to what had been decided in 2009 and it did not take full account of technology. Luxembourg had tabled a proposal on the 15 December which asked to put all technologies on equal footing. Also, provisions for hydrogens and advanced biofuels were needed;
  • a 7% target for first-generation biofuels and an at least equivalent targets for advanced biofuels was needed between now and 2030;
  • technology neutrality should also be promoted so that each technology could develop without limitations;
  • concerning first-generation biofuels, they welcomed the efforts to reduce their impact by 2030 as for the overall target, but they would not accept a figure below 15%, while the Commission suggested 18% by 2030.

Lithuania

  • the text had been significantly improved and could serve as general approach. The only outstanding issue for them was transport;
  • the ultimate goal of promoting renewable should the cost-effective reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. In their view, if mandatory sectoral targets were set, they would be an obstacle to the main goal;
  • Lithuania had set a draft energy independent strategy 2030 that already set a target of 15% in the transport sector, therefore they could support the 14% but they thought that it should not be binding and MS should be able to decide on sectoral targets that reflect their situation;
  • an indicative target for advanced biofuels should be established;
  • they welcomed the European platform of art. 8. In October, Lithuania and Luxembourg signed an agreement for statistical energy transfers, which were a good tools to meet the targets but their implementation required enormous efforts, and this was the reason why it was only exploited at bilateral level. The platform would be a good opportunity to expand such use;
  • they called for greater ambition in the heating and the cooling sector. Flexibility for MS should be ensured, but they both represent two of the most energy-intensive sectors which have costs for phasing out fossil fuels.
  • Lithuania could agree in principle with the text if indicative targets were introduced for the transport sector.

Croatia

  • they would support changes in the renewable framework as it would lead more coordination for the MS;
  • regarding cooling and heating: they thought that the +1% yearly Commission proposal went too far. They would like a more flexible formula, as in order to achieve that, MS needed to look at local consumption therefore data should be monitored more closely, which would result in administrative burden;
  • concerning art.25 and transport: they supported a 12% target for 2030;
  • 3% target and double counting was also too ambitious, because the European market did not have a sufficient amount of raw materials to produce advanced biofuels, therefore it would be difficult to achieve such target;
  • they supported the 2.5% multiplier for rail transport, as it would allow them to achieve their renewable target;
  • on the participation in programs for renewable electricity, which was voluntary and figures were indicative, Croatia thought that it was too ambitious and requested an opt-out .

Czech Republic

  • they were surprised with the number of changes in the proposal, especially those in art.25 concerning transport;
  • they welcomed the amendments in art.5 on the cross-boarder support-scheme and supported the voluntary nature of that provision;
  • concerning art.23 – heating and cooling: they supported the changes as they were a right balance between ambition and flexibility;
  • concerning art.25 and the transport sector, Czech Republic thought that the 14% target was not achievable and supported a 12% target since it would be more realistic;
  • the 2.5% multiplier in rail transport and molasses were deleted, but in their view they both were key provisions and they should be reintroduced in the text;
  • concerning the removal of molasses from Annex 9b: bioethanol products which was produced by it, should be made equal to biofuels produced by crops which were on purpose grown for the production of biofuels. Its removal from the Directive represented a discrimination towards biofuels from sugar production;
  • in order to avoid high risk of imports from third countries, they were ready to support a cap on raw materials listed in annex 9b;
  • regarding sub-targets for advanced biofuels in Annex 9a, the proposal was too fragile for them and they had some reservations on the 1% share of advanced biofuels by 2025. In their view, it should only be an indicative target and not a binding one;
  • Czech Republic could not agree to the part of renewables in the maritime sector. Under the current proposal, MS with maritime transport could transfer renewable sources to maritime fuel suppliers avoiding existing technical barriers. This would distort the level-playing field and it would entail higher costs for landlocked states. Czech Republic asked to delete such provision;
  • in view of the above reservation, Czech Republic could not support art.25 as it stood;
  • they supported Spain’s proposal concerning the multiplication of biogas;
  • in art.26, they suggested to delete the part concerning coal firing in paragraph 8;
  • they also supported the written proposal distributed by Germany.

Greece

  • the changes in the Directive should allow Europe to meet its climate change targets;
  • concerning art.2: Greece thought it was essential for MS to set their targets, in particular concerning re-powering and SMEs should take part in the Energy Community (which related to 1b of art.22 concerning legal personalities);
  • on art.3, they would like a platform to be set up, which would channel investments properly, with the possibility of having preferential interest rates;
  • on art.23: Greece had invested a lot in renewables for cooling and did not think it was necessary to set a specific target. It should be done with specific programs at national level;
  • on art.25: keeping the double counting option for biofuels falling into Annex9 was a positive feature;
  • as for the 14% target, they considered it too ambitious and too difficult to attain;
  • concerning the 2.5 multiplier for electricity, it did not really allow them to meet the national objectives which should be 14% in their view;
  • they would also like to replace fuel suppliers with economic operators in the first paragraph, as it would entail more flexibility for the MS. The reason why they wanted such provision was because in the past, legislation had focused on refiners and not suppliers. In other words, he asked that cotton seeds were included in the list of advanced biofuels.

France

  • they supported a target of 32% by 2030;
  • they were in favour of extending the scope of renewables in the transport sector. They were in favour of a 15% target;
  • they supported Luxembourg’s proposal of 3% figures for advanced biofuels and the 7% target for first-generation biofuels;
  • molasses should be considered as conventional biofuels and subjected to the 7% ceiling;
  • it was also necessary to have a midterm review for the ceiling of conventional biofuels;
  • they were pleased about the inclusion of heating and cooling in the directive, as they were crucial to achieve the targets;
  • France also asked that the support-mechanism was confirmed and a specific tendering clause for the use of particular technologies.

Hungary

  • the new regulatory framework should be in line with the 2014 European Council conclusions which decided on one renewable target and voluntary contribution. This directive should not entail binding targets;
  • nonetheless, for the sake of compromise, they could support a 12% target in the transport sector starting from 2021;
  • the 2.5 multiplier should be kept for electric rail transport;
  • they did not accept any obligatory sub-targets for advanced biofuels nor indicative for the entire period without a milestone;
  • they supported the compromise on heating and cooling as long as the 1% increase remained indicative.

Italy

  • on the 10 November, after long negotiations, they had adopted the national strategy with a renewable target of 28% by 2030;
  • there had been a big increase in the use of renewables in all sectors, including the electricity one;
  • Italy would support the general approach but still had a few reservations:
  1. cooling: as other Mediterranean MS, Italy wanted to recognise cooling power plants as renewables. Negotiations were still ongoing, but they had reached a compromise on the issue and hopefully the decision would implemented in the next few months;
  2. transport: they supported a more ambitious target of at least 18% and a sub-target for advanced biofuels of 5%. Nonetheless, they would accept the current proposal as a compromise;
  3. ambiguities relating to the double counting of biogas (in Annex 9) and the 7% ceiling also needed to be clarified.

Netherlands

  • they proposed a European phase-out of biofuels with a high ILUC value and bad CO2 performance;
  • they were in favour of stimulating advanced biofuels. The Presidency gave the possibility to MS double count biofuels in Annex 9. In their view, this would not stimulate advanced biofuels and furthermore it would hamper international trade because of the non-level playing field;
  • like Belgium, the Netherlands also regretted the wording on the guarantee of origin;
  • an important improvement came from the Presidency on biomass, and they wished it was kept in the final text.

Ireland

  • they strongly supported the Union’s target of at least 27% by 2030, and in order to meet such target each MS had to overcome national challenges. For Ireland, low population density was one of those, with 27% of it living in villages of less than 50 people.In order to deal with this, the Irish government was using unique innovative solutions, such the introduction of high-speed broadband;
  • community participation was a key focus for Ireland, therefore they welcomed the provisions for renewable self-consumers and for energy communities in art.21 and 22;
  • in principle, they thought that sectoral targets should be indicative only, but for transport and biofuels they welcomed the change from specified trajectory to indicative trajectory and  the reintroduction of double counting for biofuels listed in Annex 9;
  • they supported the reintroduction of 2.5 multiplier for electrified rail;
  • they welcomed the provision for an indicative target in the cooling and heating sector and they were pleased with the flexibility allocated to the MS to decide the best cost-effective measures.

Spain 

    • they could accept the Presidency proposal but they wanted to clarify two details:
      1. the reintroduction of 2.5 multipliers in the rail sector;
      2. the current text operated a discrimination between vehicles that used petrol and advanced biofuels and those that used gas and biogas. In the text, they were dealt with in the same way, although the latter were less pollutants and produced less co2 so they deserved a better treatment.

Austria

      • the text had a lot of improvements so it could be supported, but they wanted to clarify a few details:
      • concerning biofuels: the 3% ceiling was acceptable to them but should not be raised any further;
      • like Ireland and Spain, he supported the 2.5 multipliers in the rail sector;
      • like Czech Republic, they were convinced that molasses should be included in Annex 9b;
      • concerning electricity labelling, they wanted it to be clear and transparent to avoid distortion of competition. Like Belgium, they believe that in art. 19 paragraph 8 “shall” should replace “may”;
      • regarding heating and cooling, a delegated act was in place, so in their view an implementing act was the right way forward.

Portugal

      • they supported the 27%target by 2030, but they were prepared for a more ambitious one;
      • however, their degree of ambitiousness in Portugal always depended on the degree of inter-connectivity that they managed to guarantee;
      • in 2016 Portugal had 4 days where electric supply came exclusively from renewables;
      • art.3 should include a clear commitment to the 15% inter-connectivity target;
      • the 14% transport target was a good idea, but the 2.5 multiplier should be kept too and MS should be able to keep the 7% ceiling for first generation biofuels in the period running to 2030;
      • they supported the setting of a sub-target for advanced biofuels, but they wanted more flexibility in terms of inclusion of raw materials (exclude affluents from oil-pump producers and palm oil);
      • by keeping the double counting, there would be a risk of fraud among MS;
      • there was still room for improvement in the proposal but they were confident an agreement could be reached at the end of the day.

Germany

      • welcomed the Estonian Presidency’s notion of achieving a general approach since the current text, for the most part, was a balanced compromise;
      • on heating and cooling, welcomed that the Presidency had taken the original Commission proposal, aimed at increasing the renewable energy target by 1% per year, into account;
      • with regards to the energy shift in transport, supported the current proposal’s 14% renewables target for 2030 and the possibility of lowering it in cases where there was a lower national cap for conventional biofuels, as well as the incentives for electromobility;
      • called for clearer language on electricity and the rules for supporter systems in Article 4, where “actions to act” where needed rather than “actions to consider”. In particular, this applied to the choice between technology neutral and technology specific support.
      • in addition, highlighted the importance of not watering down the sustainability and efficiency criteria in Article 26, especially the efficiency requirements as laid down in Article 8 for electricity from biomass which had to apply also for existing and not just for coal-fired facilities. The current threshold was too high and the rules only had to apply for facilities producing more than 20MW as set out in the original Commission proposal.

Slovakia

      • supported the 27% objective, provided it remained voluntary, and while the proposed solutions were adequate, called for greater national flexibility in the areas of heating and cooling and transport:
      • heating and cooling accounted for 15% of the EU’s energy consumption, which is why, any decision to increase the use of renewable energy had to take the economic efficiency, in particular with regards to central heating systems, into account;
      • called for a reverence value for national flexibility;
      • any obligations for heat suppliers to use renewable energy could not result in increased costs for consumers;
      • with regards to transport, called the 14% renewable energy target “possibly too ambitious” and liked to see the permission for double-counting of advanced biofuels eliminated;
      • welcomed the 2030 target for conventional biofuels as promoting the stop of the use of certain types of biofuels in the transport sector;
      • different national objectives for transport had to be considered in order to avoid unequal treatment;
      • environmental protection and air quality in cities had to be considered as well;
      • national support schemes had to remain voluntary as acknowledged in the compromise text;

Slovenia 

      • pointed out the difficulty of some Member States to achieve the 2020 objectives, which is why, Slovenia favoured a prudent approach and welcomed the Estonian Presidency’s compromise text;
      • the indicative objectives for heating and cooling were likely to increase costs for small systems;
      • expressed strong reservations on the issue of renewables in transport since the proposal imposed three significant obligations tying the hands of the Member States in the future;
      • called for lower binding renewable energy targets in the transport sector of no more than 12% through mandates imposed on fuel suppliers, including the 5x multiplier for renewable electricity and the sub-target of 3% for advanced biofuels;
      • welcomed the re-introduction of a 2x multiplier for rail transport.

Malta

      • welcomed Articles 2 and 7 Paragraph 3 of the revised Presidency text, provided that they allowed for the use of heat pumps for heating and cooling and understood that the use of indoor air, from which a heat pump extracted energy for cooling purposes, counted as renewable energy;
      • with regards to article 4, reiterated that the use of small scale installations had to be exempted from these provisions and that to this effect Member States were allowed to develop specific initiatives to support related projects;
      • supported Article 5 Paragraph 1 on the opening of national support schemes and stressed that this had to remain voluntary;
      •  due to the limited space available to the deployment of renewable energy generators in Malta, reciprocity was practically impossible to realise. Therefore, it was important to maintain the option to refrain from opening the national support schemes for non-national energy suppliers;
      • with regards to Article 23 Paragraph 1, wished to reiterate that the use of renewables for cooling as set out in Article 7 applied;
      • on Article 25 concerning the use of renewables in transport, called for a target not higher than 12% but agreed to the intermediate binding milestone of 1% in 2025 and the final target of 3% in 2030 for advanced biofuels;
      • given that Malta imported most of its fuels, and due to its small-scale economy, Malta was only able to reach the advanced biofuels targets if double-counting was maintained;
      • highlighted the importance of including Recital 64 of the Coreper text of 8 December 2017, acknowledging Malta’s specificities, such as its lack of a railway system, into the general approach.

Cyprus

      • was against any form of sub-targets for transport and for heating and cooling since Member States needed sufficient flexibility to determine the right measures to fulfil the renewable energy targets depending on their specificities, as the only way to be both ambitious and realistic;
      • the 14% target for transport was very ambitious, especially when considering that Cyprus was completely dependant on biofuel imports, since high temperatures limited the kind of biofuels usable for environmental and health reasons and since Cyprus had no railway either. Consequently, called for a return to the 12% objective and for the recitals on Cyprus specificities to be taken into account;
      • on double-counting, welcomed the provisions of Article 25 Paragraph 1 giving flexibility to the Member States to select the measures most suited to them;
      • did not agree to the compulsory 1% 2025 target for advanced biofuels as there was too much uncertainty with regards to its economic availability;
      • on heating and cooling, called for more national flexibility.

United Kingdom

      • welcomed the changes made to the Presidency compromise text on the permit granting process reflecting Member States competencies and on sustainability criteria to accommodate existing schemes;
      • supported the technology neutral approach allowing Member States to use their low-carbon resources as they deemed appropriate;
      • on transport, welcomed the proposed changes on advanced biofuels, yielding the highest greenhouse gas reductions while taking into account the risk of indirect land use change. In addition, the double-counting provisions provided the necessary incentives to foster the change from crop to waste based biofuels. This approach had led to the UK’s biofuels mix not including palm oil;
      • to accept the general approach, the UK needed provisions granting flexibility, such as those enabling Member States to phase out of less sustainable biofuels;
      • supported the 2025 and 2030 biofuels targets as well as the overall 14% target for transport;
      • with regards to heating and cooling, the UK undertook action to increase renewable heat. However, solely focussing on renewable energy in this sector prevented the UK from decarbonising in a cost-effective way. Consequently, in the spirit of solidarity, the UK accepted the proposed changes, but could not go beyond that.

Latvia

      • welcomed the strengthened role of the consumers, the facilitation of small scale projects and that the conditions for a renewable energy community had been included;
      • believed that renewable energy targets for heating and cooling was one of the most cost-effective solutions and called for high EU ambitions as set out in the Presidency’s compromise text;
      • with regards to transport, the chosen solution had to promote the combination of various products in the market and that low consumer costs had to prevail. Therefore, Latvia advocated for a blending obligation for fuel suppliers rather than an objective for the Member State;
      • considering that Latvia invested in the electrification of the railway sector as long-term projects, opposed any scenario where the 2,5x multiplier was no longer applied;
      • was able to achieve the proposed 3% advanced biofuels target for 2013 in transport as long as double-counting was maintained, but opposed binding targets on the EU-level out of concerns over the availability of sufficient resources and technology;
      • supported the voluntary opening of national supporting schemes for electromobility.

Poland

      • supported the adoption of the proposed general approach but had reservations with regards to Article 25 concerning the transport sector;
      • the general target was not to be higher than 12%;
      • was in favour of re-instating the 2,5x multiplier for electromobility in rail transport;
      • as a compromise deal, was ready to accept the principle of double-counting, but exclusively for Part A of Annex 9;
      • on Article 2 and 22, including the definition of local renewable energy communities, the proposal could hamper projects in that sector;
      • supported Article 26 Paragraph 8, concerning coal-fired installations bigger than 75MW.

Romania

      • supported the 7% cap on conventional biofuels in the transport sector and accepted the 12% overall renewable energy target as an optimum, since some Member States faced difficulties achieving the current 2020 targets;
      • on advanced biofuels, the real value on the market had to be considered, which is why, Romania had concerns over the economic impact and the availability of sufficient feedstocks and only supported the indicative nature of this sub-target for transport;
      • welcomed the proposed multiplier for rail electromobility;
      • with regards to heating and cooling, the 1% annual ambition increase was too ambitious as it affected national competences to establish the country-specific measures for reaching the renewable energy targets.

European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete 

      • underlined the importance of high Member States ambitions to reach the renewable targets in order to embrace the reality posed by the available technology and in order to pave the way for a constructive dialogue with the European Parliament;
      • welcomed the push from a number of Member States for a more ambitious target for transport and the sub-target for advanced biofuels;
      • a balance had to be found to allow for innovation and decarbonisation;
      • expressed his confidence in the Estonian Presidency’s compromise text’s ability to provide for sufficient flexibility to accommodate the different situations in the Member States;
      • renewable energy targets for heating and cooling were required to achieve the Eu objectives in the most cost-effective way;
      • a stable climate for investment, supported by national support schemes, was essential in order to facilitate the renewable energy deployment for the benefit of EU citizens and industry;
      • the compromise text provided a robust framework, although the Member States could have been bolder in their ambitions;

The Estonian Presidency

      • although the previous statements had shown the well-balanced nature, the following two modifications had been made to the compromise text to accommodate existing concerns;
      • firstly, the 2x rail electricity multiplier was re-introduced and it was clarified that Article 26 Paragraph 8 applied to installations that had been converted to bio-mass.

Sweden

      • Sweden regretted the re-introduction of the rail multiplier in the text as it watered down the overall ambition;
      • double-counting in the overall target should be 15% rather than 14%;
      • regarding the ambition level in the transport sector, Sweden urged the Presidency to increase the ambition level for the sub-target to 4%;
      • she proposed that in 2025 the Commission should assess whether the minimum level of bio-fuels produced from feedstocks listed in Annex 9 should be increased.

France

      • France had no problems with the issued document, but she stated that her request on the review clause for 7% cap for conventional biofuels for 2025 should be taken into consideration.

Czech Republic 

      • she thanked the Presidency for changing its position on electricity in railways, as it was important for the Czech Republic;
      • the Czech Republic was still not ready to support 14%, and she called for solidarity in the Council with the landlocked countries. She proposed the inclusion of molasses;
      • regarding the co-firing of biomass in Article 26, she thanked the Commission for its modified approach but still believed that deleting co-firing from the paragraph would be better. The Czech Republic feared that it would endanger the affordability of biomass in the region.

Cyprus

      • the proposed general approach was not balanced;
      • Cyprus would not be benefitting from the rail multiplier. 14% was already “jolly ambitious”;
      • Cyprus had stated throughout the negotiations that 12% was a difficult compromise. He asked if the Recitals could refer to the fact that Cyprus did not have any railways;
      • cotton seeds should be included in Annex 9.

Hungary

      • Hungary could not accept any obligatory sub-targets for advanced bio-fuels. It could only accept an indicative target;
      • the availability of advanced feedstock production capacity was still very limited in Hungary as the technology was still very expensive;
      • he could not agree with the deletion of the inclusion of low ILUC-risk biofuels to be counted over the 7% cap;
      • Hungary could support the Czech Republic in its comments about landlocked countries.

Malta

      • Malta did not have any problems with double-counting for railways. It would not be benefitting because Malta did not have any railways;
      • he stated that it was already difficult for Malta to reach the 2020 renewable energy targets in the transport sector. He stated that the target should be decreased to 12%.

Greece

      • Greece was prepared to accept the compromise text, even though it was very ambitious;
      • if the objectives were to be achieved, investments would have to be “seriously mobilised” and technical innovations should be taken into account;
      • he supported the comments made by Cyprus, and insisted on the inclusion of cotton seeds in Annex 9, as it could potentially help Greece in achieving the objectives.

Finland

      • he appreciated the ambitions by the Presidency to reach a general approach but he was not sure about the ambition level of the files and the compromises themselves;
      • he questioned whether the solutions were sustainable;
      • he was not satisfied with the proposed compromise;
      • Finland was still looking for higher overall percentages for advanced bio-fuels.

Germany

      • Germany could support the compromise text, but wanted to reserve the right to come back to the issue of double-counting for rail in the future.

Luxembourg

      • Luxembourg’s proposal on 7% for future fuels had not been taken on board;
      • he had stated multiple times that the future of mobility was in electro-mobility;
      • Luxembourg was in favour of a review clause f02 2025 on first generation bio-fuels;
      • these issues would be addressed in future trilogues and their preparations.

Croatia

      • Croatia could not support the renewable energy share in final consumption which was more than 12%. The proposed 13% was not acceptable.

Austria

      • Austria could support the text, although it had wanted a higher target for bio-fuels;
      • he stated that “it would be a shame” not to address the suggestions made by the Czech Republic on molasses.

Poland

      • Poland would have preferred a lower overall target for renewables in transport;
      • in the spirit of compromise, Poland would be willing to accept double-counting in part A of Annex 9;
      • he supported the comments made by Hungary on advanced bio-fuels.

The Estonian Presidency 

      • as the general approach had been adopted, the concerns raised by the MS would be adequately reflected in further deliberations with the Parliament.

Commissioner for Climate Action & Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete made the following remark

      • the Commission had said that a 14% hybrid target in transport was lacking ambition. The current proposed level of 12.5% was “clearly insufficient” and he hoped for a review clause for the future.

Source: One Policy Place

The simultaneous interpretation of debates provided by the European Parliament serves only to facilitate communication amongst the participants in the meeting. It does not constitute an authentic record of proceedings. One Policy Place uses these translations so this text is only a guide and should not be relied on as an official account of the meeting. Only the original speech or the revised written translation of that speech is authentic.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. Cookies help you create your Policy Newsfeed for example. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close