More renewables for industry, mobility and domestic life. The European Union continues its activity of transformation and reconversion of production models in a sustainable sense. Parliament and the EU Council find an agreement that sets stringent obligations and well-defined objectives in the field of production of alternative energy sources to traditional ones. A provisional agreement, reached during interinstitutional negotiations, which will now have to pass to the formal vote, in order, of the Committee of Permanent Representatives of the Member States (Coreper) and MEPs, and which involves several sectors: transport, housing and industry .
On the mobility front, the agreement adds to the one already closed, not without controversy and friction, on new generation engines for cars and vans, with the obligation to produce electric cars or cars powered by synthetic fuels. The new piece of legislation now provides for the possibility for Member States to choose between two different options: a binding target of 14.5% reduction of greenhouse gas intensity in transport thanks to the use of renewable sources by 2030 or, alternatively, a binding target of at least 29% share of renewables in final energy consumption in the transport sector by 2030.
A combined binding sub-target of 5.5% is set for biofuels, but of an “advanced” type. It means that they must not be derived from food raw materials. Also included is the possibility of using renewable fuels of non-biological origin (mainly renewable hydrogen and hydrogen-based synthetic fuels) in the share of renewable energy supplied to the transport sector. Furthermore, there is a minimum requirement of 1% renewable non-biological fuels (RFNBO) in the share of renewable energy supplied to the transport sector in 2030.
Here the game that Italy is trying to lead with the request for the use of bio-fuels, on which the country is very active, will still be played. If it can produce it without resorting to foods intended for food, the boot will also be able to play its part. However, the objectives seem to respond more to the characteristics of the German industrial system, stronger on synthetic fuels.
The provisional agreement then concerns real estate, risking once again proposing the tensions that accompanied the vote on the new rules for so-called “green building”, which provides for the obligation to renovate all those buildings with an inefficient energy class in terms of consumption and unsustainable in terms of waste. The provisional agreement now sets “an indicative objective” of at least 49% of the share of renewable energy in buildings by 2030. This means interventions in the air conditioning and heating systems, which will have to be powered by renewable energy. This path establishes a binding increase of 0.8% per year at national level until 2026 and of 1.1% from 2026 to 2030. The minimum annual average rate applicable to all Member States is complemented by further indicative increases calculated ad hoc for each Member State.
But the sacrifices won’t be just for families. Industry is asked to increase its use of renewable energy each year by 1.6%. Parliament and Council negotiators agreed that 42% of hydrogen used in industry should come from renewable fuels of non-biological origin (RFNBO) by 2030 and 60% by 2035. States can benefit from a «discount » by 20% under two conditions: if the national contribution of the member states to the overall binding EU target corresponds to their planned contribution, and if the share of hydrogen from fossil fuels consumed in the member state does not exceed 23% in 2030 and 20% in 2035.
While awaiting the definitive go-ahead, the European Commission is rejoicing. “The agreement is welcome,” comments the Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson. “Renewable energies are central to Europe’s climate neutrality goal and will allow us to secure our energy sovereignty in the long term.”