Brussels, 15 September 2022 – “The European Parliament report on the Renewable Energy Directive revision, endorses a target of 45% renewable energy consumption in the EU by 2030, following the REPowerEU proposal in May 2022 to accelerate the continent’s independence from Russian gas. The European Biogas Association applauds the increased level of ambition, compared to the current target set at 32%. However, the Parliament missed an opportunity to completely streamline the report with the goals of REPowerEU by omitting a binding target to deliver the 35 bcm of sustainable biomethane by 2030, included in the REPowerEU proposal.” Explains Giulia Cancian, Secretary General of the European Biogas Association.
The revision of the Renewable Energy Directive represents a key element in the ‘Fit for 55’ package to help the EU reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030 and to strengthen EU energy security. The European Parliament position voted in plenary yesterday goes in the right direction. It refines on many levels the Commission’s proposal and keeps strong sustainability requirements, guaranteeing biogas and biomethane continue contributing to climate change mitigation.
The report takes into consideration investors’ trust, by correcting the retroactive application of the GHG emission savings criteria on existing plants (art.29.10) proposed by the Commission but includes a higher threshold for plants starting operations in 2026.
The legislation also defines sub-targets for some emissions-intensive sectors. While transport remains one of the most polluting and hard to decarbonize segments of our economy, the Parliament report fails to strengthen the Commission proposal on advanced biofuels (2.2% by 2030) while it bets on renewable fuels of non-biological origin, such as hydrogen (5.7% 2030).
The upcoming interistitutional negotiations within European Parliament and Council represent an opportunity for EU policymakers to perfect the Renewable Energy Directive, keeping high ambitions and cutting red tape for operators.
About biogas and biomethane
Biogas is produced from the decomposition of organic materials. These residues are placed in a biogas digester in the absence of oxygen. With the help of a range of bacteria, organic matter breaks down, releasing a blend of gases: 45 – 85 vol% methane (CH4) and 25 – 50 vol% carbon dioxide (CO2). The output is a renewable gas which can be used for multiple applications.
Biomethane – purified biogas – is a renewable alternative to natural gas. Its multiple applications include heat and power supply for our buildings and industries, and renewable fuel production for the transport sector.