The update of the Renewable Energy Directive, called RED3, was adopted with 470 votes to 120 on Tuesday, September 12. The legislation, already agreed upon between MEPs and Council, now only requires member states to formally put it into force.
It raises the share of renewables in the EU’s final energy consumption to 42.5% by 2030. Member states should strive to achieve 45%.
The legislation will also speed up procedures to grant permits for new renewable energy power plants, such as solar panels or wind turbines, or to adapt existing ones. National authorities should take no longer than 12 months to approve new renewable energy installations, if located in so-called "renewables go-to areas". Outside such areas, the process should not exceed 24 months.
Lead MEP, Markus Pieper, said: "In our pursuit of greater energy independence and CO2 reduction, we have raised our renewable energy targets. This directive is evidence that Brussels can be unbureaucratic and pragmatic. We have designated renewables as an overriding public interest, streamlining their approval process. Our focus encompasses wind power, photovoltaics, hydropower, geothermal energy, and tidal currents. Biomass from wood will remain classified as renewable energy. Under the principle of ‘Positive silence’, investments will be deemed approved in the absence of administrative feedback. We now urgently need an EU electricity market design and an immediate shift to hydrogen for a greener transition.”
FEDIOL, which represents the EU vegetable oil and protein meal industry association, the interests of the European oilseed crushers, vegetable oil refiners, and bottlers, welcomed Tuesday’s final vote on the RED.
The organization said the action confirms “the complementary and needed role of crop-based biofuels” in contributing to the EU’s transport renewable energy mix, a satisfactory outcome that countries should make use of to meet their targets and support farmers’ incomes.
“The raised ambition and target of 14.5% GHG intensity reduction or 29% renewable energy consumption in the transport sector will allow sustainable renewable energy sources to reinforce their contribution to the EU’s energy mix and support the attainment of the EU’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 55% by 2030,” it added.