Renewable Energy Directive (RED, RED II)

Legislative Framework

The proposal for amending the renewable energy directive, among other legislative proposals, was a direct response to the energy-focused aspects of the EU's climate transition outlined in the 'Fit for 55' package.Unveiled on July 14, 2021, the 'Fit for 55' package is designed to align the EU's climate and energy legislative framework with the ambitious goal of achieving climate neutrality by 2050. Additionally, it aims to slash net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.

As part of the REPowerEU plan, the Commission introduced targeted amendments to the renewable energy directive on May 18, 2022, in reflection of recent shifts in the energy landscape. These proposed elements were integrated into the directive officially adopted on November 20, 2023. Drawing upon the foundation laid by the 2009 and 2018 directives, the revised directive introduces more robust measures aimed at fully leveraging all available avenues for further development and adoption of renewable energy sources. This strategic approach is pivotal in attaining the EU's target of climate neutrality by 2050 while simultaneously fortifying Europe's energy security.

New Measures in the Revised Directive (2023) compared to the Renewable Energy Directive (2018/2001/EU):

New Measures in the Revised Directive (2023) compared to the Renewable Energy Directive (2018/2001/EU):


Increased Renewable Energy Uptake:

  • 2023 Directive: Introduces stronger measures to maximize the development and adoption of renewables, aiming to achieve the EU's climate neutrality goal by 2050 and enhance energy supply security.
  • 2018 Directive: Established a binding renewable energy target for 2030 of at least 32% (with a possible upwards revision by 2023) to aid EU countries in meeting emissions reduction commitments under the Paris Agreement.

Target Doubling Renewables and Sector-Specific Goals:

  • 2023 Directive: Implements a headline target to double the current renewable energy share and sets increased sector-specific targets for renewables in heating and cooling, transport, industry, buildings, and district heating/cooling.
  • 2018 Directive: Focused on maintaining the EU's leadership in renewables with a 32% target for 2030, emphasizing slower sectors like transport with a 14% target for renewable fuels.

Facilitating Electrification and New Frameworks:

  • 2023 Directive: Proposes a policy framework promoting electrification in various sectors, including provisions for electric vehicles and smart recharging. Converts concepts from energy system integration and hydrogen strategies into EU law for renewable uptake in transport and heating/cooling.
  • 2018 Directive: Introduced measures for slower sectors like transport but didn't emphasize specific frameworks for sector-based electrification or adopt hydrogen strategy concepts.

Binding Targets for Renewable Fuels of Non-Biological Origin:

  • 2023 Directive: Sets new binding targets for renewable fuels of non-biological origin, especially for sectors not yet feasible for electrification.
  • 2018 Directive: Focused on renewable energy targets without specific provisions for non-biological renewable fuels.

Streamlined Permitting Procedures:

  • 2023 Directive: Introduces easier and faster permitting procedures for renewable energy and necessary infrastructure projects, including 'Renewables acceleration areas.'
  • 2018 Directive: Didn't include specific measures for expediting permitting processes.

Reinforced Sustainability Criteria for Bioenergy:

  • 2023 Directive: Reinforces sustainability criteria for bioenergy, acknowledging its role in the phase-out of fossil fuels.
  • 2018 Directive: Included provisions to ensure bioenergy sustainability but didn't specifically mention reinforcing criteria.

The revisions in the 2023 directive highlight a more targeted and comprehensive approach to enhance renewable energy uptake and align with the EU's ambitious climate neutrality goals, extending beyond the objectives outlined in the 2018 directive.

EED and RED II directives

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