An upward revision clause to be revisited in 2023 also was included in the Renewable Energy Directive (RED II), according to a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).
“I am particularly pleased with the new European target of 32%,” said Commissioner for Climate action and Energy Miguel Arias Canete. “The binding nature of the target will also provide additional certainty to the investors.”
The directive is part of the Clean Energy for All Europeans package, and will have to be formally approved by the parliament and council.
Text of the agreement is not yet publicly available but negotiators provided information on the key provisions.
The current overall target for 2020 is 20%, and, according to the last commission report, the E.U. is on track to meet it.
The target for the transport sector will be 14%. The current 2020 target for that sector is 10%.
The agreement also sets out a binding 3.5% target on non-crop based advanced biofuels by 2030.
Environmental groups criticized the 32% target for not being ambitious enough, the FAS report said.
“Going for a renewables target that is barely above business-as-usual is a spectacular failure by the E.U.,” said the World Wildlife Fund European office.
Under the proposed directive, crop-based biofuels will be capped at the level consumed in each member state in 2020, with an additional 1% point allowed over present consumption up to the overall cap of 7%.
E.U. farmers and biofuel producers, who strongly lobbied to increase the crop-based biofuels cap, were relieved, the FAS report said.
“It is a good news that the maximum accountable share for crop-based biofuels used in transport will be maintained at 7% until 2030,” said Copa-Cogeca Secretary General Pekka Pesonen. “It will give our biofuel producers a long-term stable framework to work with.”
Biomass will count toward renewable energy targets and is eligible for support schemes. The negotiators agreed on sustainability criteria for biomass in the current legislation, whereas RED I only had sustainability criteria for liquid biofuels, the FAS report said.
Sustainability will be assessed at the sourcing level, and not at the forest-holding level, as originally proposed by the commission.
This move should enable the United States to efficiently demonstrate the sustainability of its wood pellets and continue to export to the E.U., the FAS said.