The European Parliament united to achieve the target of 14.5% energy savings in 2030

The European Parliament united to achieve the target of 14.5% energy savings in 2030

The four main political groups in the European Parliament are united in backing proposals to raise the EU’s energy efficiency target for 2030. They believe this will help reduce energy prices for consumers and eliminate imports of Russian fossil fuels.

Russia’s war in Ukraine has profound consequences for EU energy and climate policies.

The European Commission already proposed in May 2022 to raise the EU’s energy efficiency target to 13% by 2030, compared to 9% initially proposed in July 2021.

The plan, dubbed REPowerEU, aims to cut Russian fossil fuel imports by two-thirds before the end of this year and phase them out altogether. “well before 2030” by diversifying gas supplies and accelerating the ecological transition.

1st legal obligation for energy savings

It is important to note that this will be the first time that energy savings will be a legal obligation for EU Member States, which increases the chances of achieving the set target.

But as the war drags on and Russia threatens to completely cut off supplies to Europe before next winter, lawmakers in the European Parliament have decided to raise the efficiency target of the EU.

Parliament’s four largest political groups — the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP), Socialists and Democrats (S&D), centrist Renew Europe (RE) party and the Greens — tabled amendments on Monday (July 11) common to the revised Energy Efficiency Directive.

“This agreement enjoys broad political support within the European Parliament, which demonstrates a commitment to deliver on its promises”said Niels Fuglsang, a Danish lawmaker from the S&D group, leading Parliament on the revised directive.

“In this time of energy crisis where Mr Putin is cutting off gas supplies to the EU, we need to save more energy, and we need to do this by setting high and binding energy efficiency targets for the EU in as a whole and for the individual Member States.he told EURACTIV in emailed comments.

Some flexibility for EU member states

The highlight is a more ambitious energy efficiency target of 14.5% by 2030 compared to the 2020 reference scenario.

“We recognize that 13% in REPowerEU is already ambitious, but we can also go higher – we want, if possible, to reach 14.5%”said Pernille Weiss, a Danish Christian Democrat MEP who is leading the EPP’s position on the dossier.

“This corresponds to a reduction of 40% for final energy consumption and 42.5% for primary energy consumption respectively, compared to the projections of the reference scenario 2007 for 2030”, said the four parties. The current EU target is a reduction in energy consumption of 32.5% based on 2007 projections.

The additional reduction of 14.5% makes it possible to reach respectively 740 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe) of final energy consumption and 960 Mtoe of primary energy consumption in 2030, according to the joint proposal released on Monday.

In addition, public authorities in the Member States would be required to reduce their energy consumption by“at least 2%” every year, in order to “ensure that the public sector plays its role of example”, indicates the joint proposal. This figure is up from the 1.5% foreseen in the Commission’s previous plans.

States would, however, retain “total flexibility in the choice of measures to improve energy efficiency” to achieve the final energy consumption target, adds the common text.

A key aspect for Pernille Weiss and the EPP is that the joint amendments recognize the differences between EU Member States.

“We have different infrastructures, industries and buildings all over Europe”, Ms. Weiss explained during a press briefing on Monday (July 11). According to her, the compromise gives EU countries “the necessary flexibility” when defining their national contributions “by allowing them to take into account different national circumstances affecting energy consumption — such as GDP forecasts, adoption of renewable energy, development of storage technologies and the overall level of ambition of national energy plans. decarbonization ».

Under this flexibility, EU countries will be able to count fossil savings for a third of their savings bonds until mid-2028, Ms Weiss said. Member states will also have leeway to decide on renovation requirements for social housing, which are not defined uniformly across the 27 EU countries.

However, the compromise texts also provide “the establishment of binding national contributions in terms of energy efficiency for 2030”, a measure that was supported by the Greens. In addition, large companies will have to carry out energy audits every four years, the recommendations of which will be mandatory.

“The European Court of Auditors having considered that the implementation of the recommendations of the audits would contribute more to energy efficiency, it is logical that the Industry Committee makes this implementation mandatory”said Jutta Paulus, a German MEP representing the Greens in the negotiations.

With the four largest political groups backing the proposal, the amended directive should pass without difficulty when Parliament’s Industry Committee votes on the proposal on Wednesday.

The Plenary Assembly will hold a debate on the revised directive in September. Unless one of Parliament’s political groups requests the organization of a plenary vote, the file will be sent directly for so-called trilogue discussions with the 27 EU Member States within the Council of Ministers of the EU to finalize the legislation.

The final objective, and the measures to be taken to achieve it, will be at the center of discussions with the Council, which adopted its position on 27 June.

> Read the full compromise proposals here.


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