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Briefing - Renewable Energy Directive, Revision of Directive (EU) 2018/2001

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This briefing is one in a series of 'implementation appraisals', produced by the European Parliamentar y Research Service (EPRS ), on the operation of existing EU legislation in practice. Each briefing focuses on a specific EU law, which is likely to be amended or reviewed, as envisaged in the European Commission's annual work programme. 'Implementation appraisals' aim to provide a succinct overview of publicly available material on the implementation, application and effectiveness to date of an EU law, drawing on input from EU institutions and bodies, as well as external organisations. They are provided by the EPRS Ex-Post Evaluation Unit, to assist parliamentary committees in their consideration of new EuropeanCommission proposals, once tabled.


The Renewable Energy Directive, Directive (EU) 2018/2001, (RED II), established a common framework for the promotion of energy from renewable sources in the EU and set a binding target of 32% for the overall share of energy from renewable sources in the EU's gross final consumption of energy in 2030. It also established sustainability and greenhouse gas emissions saving criteria for biofuels, bioliquids and biomass fuels and lays down rules on financial support to enhance the use of renewable energy usage. The RED II is a recast of the Directive 2009/28/EC (RED I). The recast was made as part of the ‘Clean energy for all Europeans package’.


In January 2020, the European Parliament adopted its resolution on the European Green Deal, emphasizing the need for more ambitious action to address climate change and meet environmental objectives. The resolution highlighted the essential role of energy in the transition to a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions economy, and particularly the importance of decarbonising the energy system. For these reasons, the resolution called for the revision of the RED in line with the new climate ambitions by establishing new binding obligations for individual Member States(not to fall below the EU 2020 targets).


In August 2020, the Commission published an Inception Impact Assessment (IIA) to support the legislative proposal for the amendment of the RED, which will examine the potential t o increase the 2030 renewable energy target, and review the levels of ambition at the sectoral level. The IIA also informs on other objectives for the revision of the RED II, including the introduction of elements of the Energy System Integration and Hydrogen strategies.


In November 2020, the Commission published the Renewable Energy Progress Report, which indicated that in recent years (until 2018) there had been a stable growth in the overall share of renewable energy sources (RES) at the EU level. In 2018, the EU reached a share of 18% (18.9% for EU-27) of renewable energy in gross final energy consumption, which stood above the indicative trajectory (16%) to reach the 2020 targets. The EU was also above the more ambitious trajectory that Member States had defined in their national renewable energy action plans (NREAPs).

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