EC launches public consultation on potential revision of REDII

By Erin Voegele | August 26, 2020

The European Commission in August launched a public consultation on the potential revision of the 2018 Renewable Energy Directive (REDII) to better align the policy with the European Union’s new Green Deal and its goal of making the EU climate neutral by 2050.

The REDII is the EU’s main renewable energy policy legislation. Under the REDII, EU member states adopted binding targets for raising the share of renewables in their energy consumption mix. The policy sets an overall binding renewable energy target for the EU of 32 percent of total energy consumption by 2030. The REDII also established sustainable criteria for renewable energy, including biofuels and forest biomass. In late 2019, the European Green Deal was announced. That policy aims to make the European Union climate neutral by 2050.

A report filed with the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service’s Global Agricultural Information Network explains that given the new goals outlined in the European Green Deal, the European Commission is currently revisiting existing EU policies to see if they need to be updated to better align with the Green Deal. As part of that effort, the European Commission launched a public consultation on the possible revision of the REDII on Aug. 4.

To evaluate whether the REDII should be updated, the European Commission is exploring several scenarios. Under the first option, the REDII would remain as is through 2030. Under the second option, non-regulatory alternative policy instruments could encompass training, information campaigns, project financing, etc. Under the third option, the European Commission could raise the ambition of the REDII targets and sub-targets so they are in line with the 2030 Climate Target Plan. Under the fourth option, the REDII would be amended to translate into legal measure the action proposed in other energy strategies of the European Green Deal. This could include measures to foster the use of renewable or low-carbon fuels in air, maritime and heavy duty transport, and ensure renewables are produced sustainably. A fifth option would combine options presented in the second, third and fourth options.

Following the public consultation, the European Commission is expected to issue an impact assessment, likely followed by draft legislation or a non-legislative proposal.

The public comment period is open through Sept. 21. Additional information is available in the USDA FAS GAIN report and on the European Commission website.