RED III – EU Asks More Renewables
The new Directive RED III requires at least 42.5% of final energy consumption to come from renewable sources. How to cover the gap between today’s 21% and the 42.5% target in six years. How will pay higher bills?
Timidly, the governments of the 27 have held back the ultra-green push from the European Commission and some European Parliament members, who were calling for increasing the contribution of renewable energy from the current 21% of final energy consumption to 45% in 6 years. Ministers managed to secure a reduction to 42.5% by 2030. Since renewables are undeniably more expensive than nuclear and fossil fuels used so far, citizens and companies are now destined to pay hefty bills in the future as well. Even without wars on their doorstep and without sanctions on Russia. Some prospective studies suggest that even to charge electric vehicles, energy costs will be quite high.
Brussels, 6 October 2023 – 2 MINUTES READ
European Institutions have adopted the new RED III Directive with an ambitious target of 42.5% for renewables in energy consumption. Certainly, it’s not easy to navigate through the numbers and percentages provided annually by the EU institutions regarding future energy use: total energy consumption, the percentage of energy from renewables, energy savings, energy efficiency, the share of biomass, solar and wind power, fossil fuel imports, prohibitions on the production and import of CO2-producing fuels, and so on.
At least three events have generated this appetite: the pandemic, which caused a collapse in energy consumption, the war in Ukraine, which saw a decrease in energy imports from Russia, and the climate alarm.
These three factors have triggered anxiety within the EU institutions, and the European Commission has responded by offering increasingly ambitious energy solutions. However, the scent of an economic recession has emerged recently, putting European governments on alert and leading them to slow down the race towards the Green Europe.
In fact, while the European Commission and the European Parliament aimed for very high renewable energy targets by 2030, governments have curbed ambitions to 42.5%. As for Euro7, the Council has secured a 2-year delay in the Regulation’s entry into force, as opposed to the 4 years initially requested by a number of countries.
Are these two slowdowns a sign of a European climate commitment weakening?
Two fundamental elements come into play here.
The ability of producers and consumers to withstand the stress of EU environmental competitions and the outcome of the 2024 European elections.
Regarding the first, it can be said that consumers are the decision-makers, especially if they cannot afford more expensive vehicles, if they have to wait too long to purchase them, if fueling electric cars becomes difficult and costly, if they lack the financial means to make their homes more energy-efficient, or if their bills increase significantly. In such cases, the political body cannot simply observe the loss of trust.
As for the second, it will be the new European political landscape, both within the EU and in Brussels, that will tell us whether the plans laid out by Ursula von der Leyen and former EU Commissioner Franz Timmermans will change.
Finally, citizens are becoming increasingly skeptical about the convenience of European restrictive choices, as more and more politicians from some European countries emphasize how Europe’s use of non-polluting renewable sources is inconsequential for the climate.
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- RED III Directive in all languages
- Comprehensive analysis if the Directive
- How Europe can reach the new target of 42.5% of renewables by 2030?
…and much more.