(Photo: Geopolitical News / EO).
The new law, already agreed upon by the Parliament and Council negotiators, and adopted with 471 votes in favour, 147 against and 17 abstentions, provides for a reduction in primary and final energy consumption. According to this recast of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive (EED), EU countries will have to collectively ensure a reduction in energy consumption of at least 11.7% by 2030 (compared to the baseline scenario projections set at 2020) .
To achieve the goal, the legislation provides for an average annual energy saving of 1.5% between now and 2030. Up to 2025, 1.3% will have to be saved every year, a percentage that will gradually increase to 1.9 % by the end of 2030.
The savings targets will have to be achieved through local, regional and national measures, in different sectors, for example public administration, buildings, enterprises, data centres, etc. MEPs insisted that the reduction will particularly affect the public sector, which will have to reduce final energy consumption by 1.9% each year.
Member States should also ensure that at least 3% of public buildings are refurbished each year to become nearly zero-energy or zero-emission buildings. The directive also establishes new requirements for efficient district heating systems. A monitoring and enforcement mechanism will be created to ensure enforcement of the rules.
Rapporteur Niels Fuglsang (S&D, DK) said: “The energy crisis is not over. There is no guarantee that the next few winters will be as mild as the last. Now and over the next 7 years is the time to make the necessary structural changes. In the course of this procedure, I am very happy that we have managed to push Member States towards much more ambitious energy efficiency targets. This is crucial to no longer depend on Russian energy in the future and to achieve our climate goals. Today is a big victory. A vote that is not only positive for our climate, but also negative for Putin.”
The text will now also need to be formally approved by the EU Council of Ministers before it can enter into force.
On 14 July 2021, the European Commission adopted the ‘Fit for 55’ package of measures, which adjusts existing climate and energy legislation to meet the new EU target of a minimum 55% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
The package precisely includes the recast of the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED), aligning its provisions with the new objective.
Another element of the package is the revision of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED II). Under the RED II directive, currently in force, the EU is required to ensure that at least 32% of its energy consumption comes from renewable energy sources by 2030.
By approving this directive, MEPs are responding to citizens’ proposals contained in the conclusions of the Conference on the Future of Europe. The Energy Efficiency Directive responds to Proposal 3(3), which aims to reduce dependency on imported oil and gas through energy efficiency projects and expanding the supply of clean and renewable energy.
The directive also aligns with proposal 3(5), which supports investment in renewable energy technologies, and with proposal 3(6), which promotes the exploration of new environmentally friendly energy sources and storage methods, in support of EU climate targets. Furthermore, it aligns with proposal 11(1) which promotes greener production processes by companies, supporting them in identifying the best solutions.