EU greenlights new energy efficiency targets

EU greenlights new energy efficiency targets
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Members of European Parliament have approved the latest Energy Efficiency Directive, already agreed to with the European Council, that sets new energy saving targets for 2030, as part of the European Green Deal.

The law will set energy-saving targets in both primary and final energy consumption in the EU.

With the directive, member states will have to collectively ensure a reduction in energy consumption of at least 11.7% at EU level by 2030 (compared to the projections of the 2020 Reference Scenario).

A monitoring and enforcement mechanism will accompany this objective to make sure member states deliver on their national contributions to this binding EU target.

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By 2030, member states need to save on average 1.5% per year. The annual energy savings will begin with 1.3% in the period until the end of 2025 and will progressively reach 1.9% in the last period up to the end of 2030.

The saving targets should be met through local, regional and national measures, in different sectors – such as public administration, buildings, businesses and data centres.

Member of the EU parliament insisted that the scheme should in particular cover the public sector, which will have to reduce its final energy consumption by 1.9% each year.

Member states will also need to ensure that at least 3% of public buildings are renovated each year into nearly-zero energy buildings or zero-emission buildings. The directive also establishes new requirements for efficient district heating systems.

Member of Parliament Niels Fuglsang, who negotiated the Directive as rapporteur, said: “The energy crisis is not over. There is no guarantee that the next winters will be as mild as the last one. In the next seven years, we have to deliver the needed structural changes.

“I am very happy that we succeeded in pushing member states towards far more ambitious energy efficiency targets. This is crucial so that we no longer depend on Russian energy in the future and can meet our climate targets. Today’s vote is a great victory; it is not only good for our climate, but bad for Putin.”

Parliament adopted the legislation by 471 votes to 147 with 17 abstentions. It will now also have to be endorsed by the Council of Ministers before it can enter into force.

On 14 July 2021, the European Commission adopted the ‘Fit for 55’ package, adapting existing climate and energy legislation to meet the new EU objective of a minimum 55% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030

The package included the recast of the existing Energy Efficiency Directive, aligning its provisions with the new 55% GHG target.