The institutions of the European Union have reached an agreement this morning to increase the percentage of renewable energy consumption to 42.5% by 2030, although with the commitment to reach 45%, practically doubling the current percentage. In addition, following the demands of France, the role of nuclear hydrogen is partly recognized.
The negotiators reached an agreement after eight in the morning, after all night of discussions. “We have an agreement”, has announced the Twitter account of the Swedish presidency. With the pact, it goes from a target of 32% to 42.5% of renewables, one of the main milestones in the battery of measures that make up the Fit for 55 plan.
Negotiations have been especially protracted after a group of countries led by France called for a bigger role for nuclear-powered hydrogen, known as “pink hydrogen.” Something that opposed countries like Spain or Germany.
Especially this will affect the issue of decarbonisation of the industry, and that for the first time this sector is included in the renewable energy directive. In the agreement, the use of renewable energy must increase by 1.6% per year, with the obligatory objective that 42% of the hydrogen used comes from renewable fuels of non-biological origin by 2030 and 60% by 2035.
However, in order to find a balance between those countries that requested more weight from hydrogen from nuclear origin and those that were against it, Member States may reduce the contribution of the industry as long as they continue to meet their national targets for the use of renewables. and that “pink hydrogen” represents a maximum of 23% of consumption by 2023 and 20% in 2035.
As for transport, greenhouse gases must be reduced by 14.5% by 2030 or else ensure that at least 29% of the energy consumed by this sector is of renewable origin. In addition, the institutions have approved that 5.5% in the transport sector can be with biofuels or synthetic fuel, such as hydrogen.
An indicative objective has also been included for the use of renewables in buildings, heating and cooling, one of the requests of the European Parliament, in which at least 49% of the energy consumed must be with renewable energy. It will be established through a binding target of 0.8% at the national level between now and 2026 and 1.1% until 2030.
With the agreement reached, the countries of the European Union and the European Parliament agree on one of the key initiatives of the Fit For 55, in which the Twenty-seven have an objective of reducing polluting emissions by at least 55% by 2030, according to the 1990 values, and thus achieve climate neutrality by 2050.
“Negotiations have been extremely difficult. It has taken almost two years since we began to analyze the Commission’s original proposal, in a completely different world from today (…). The war in Ukraine has caused many changes of position between the negotiating parties, but we have achieved a result acceptable to all”, admitted one of the European Parliament negotiators, the Liberal MEP Nils Torvalds.