Yesterday’s vote in the European Parliament (EP) on the Renewable Energy Directive, the Energy Efficiency Directive and the Energy Union Regulation represents a step back from the ambition shown in November by EP’s ITRE Committee towards a more efficient and greener energy system.
The decisions on the levels of the 2030 energy efficiency and renewable energy targets failed to be backed by an ambitious necessary underlying tool: the primary energy factor (this small number with big implications was changed from 2.0 to 2.3 in the plenary vote). Keeping the value so high can only be considered backwards orientated, as the conversion efficiency of Europe’s energy system was already 2.11 in 2015 (later numbers are not yet available). Consequently, a value of 2.3 falls short of guiding our society into a future where a much larger share of electricity comes from renewable sources.
‘Default value of 2.0 needed’
On the positive side: it is good to see that a new specific sectoral target for renewable heating and cooling in the Renewable Energy Directive was introduced. Thomas Nowak, EHPA’s Secretary General, stated: “Today’s vote in the Parliament was rather hesitant than ambitious. It strikes me, in particular, that despite the fact that the EU electricity system is greening by the hour, the Parliament refused to recognise this and set an adequate primary energy factor. A default value of 2.0. is needed to accelerate the deployment of efficient and renewable technologies and
facilitate the transition to a cleaner future energy system”.