Governments still eyeing 27% renewables target

EUROPE: National governments have not moved to increase the target of 27% renewables in the EU's energy mix proposed by the heads of state and government in 2014, an internal EU Council document suggested.

A meeting of the European council in June 2017
A meeting of the European council in June 2017

If the European Council were to stick with the target subsequently adopted by the European Commission, it could find itself at loggerheads with the European Parliament.

Its lead negotiator on the revision of the Renewable Energy Directive wants a 35% goal with binding national targets, and previously said he saw 30% as a "red line" in negotiations.

The rules on renewable energy cooperatives and other community projects are apparently an open question.

The EU Council presidency, which will pass from Malta to Estonia in July, is inviting comments regarding the commission's plans, for example that they must be local majority-owned and limited to 18MW of new capacity a year.

The draft position retains the commission's proposal for a one percentage point annual increase in the share of renewables used for heating and cooling — a figure deemed insufficient in a study by the geothermal industry. But it adds an exemption for countries with a level of 60% or more.

The council has also tweaked the proposed timing of national climate and energy plans, calling for the deadline for a first draft to be moved from 1 January 2018 to 1 April 2019.

Moreover, member states would then have to take "due" — rather than the "utmost" — account of any recommendations for changes that the EU executive might make as it seeks to achieve EU-level targets.

First published on Ends Europe.

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