The European Renewable Energy Council (EREC) has exhorted EU energy ministers not to undermine the 2020 renewable energy target, a target that was unanimously agreed by the European Council in December 2008.
In an open letter addressed to the ministers ahead of a Transport, Telecommunication and Energy (TTE) Council Meeting on December 12, EREC noted that the 2020 Climate and Energy Package and its binding renewable energy target had been transposed to national legislation and that the renewable target had already shown positive results in terms of growth in the deployment of renewable energy and increased investor confidence.
EREC drew particular attention to a proposal to double count the energy content of biofuels produced from feedstocks listed in Part A of Annex IX of a revision of Directive 2009/28/EC (the Renewable Energy Directive – RED) and Directive 98/70/EC (the Fuel Quality Directive), as a result of which they would be counted not only towards the binding 10% renewable energy transport target but also towards the overall 20% renewable energy target.
According to EREC, an analysis carried out in the UK shows that extending double counting of advanced biofuels would reduce the EU wide 20% renewable energy target to approximately 19.5% corresponding to a loss of 60.9 TWh, which is equivalent to the electricity consumption of 17.4 million European households.
Stressing that a review of the overall renewable energy target would be an unnecessary blow to investor certainty and would undermine the legally binding commitment which was the result of an equilibrium reached during the negotiation of the 2020 Climate and Energy Package, the EREC called on the ministers to reject this proposal and only consider options to improve the emission reductions of biofuels that remain within the 10% transport sector target, without undermining the overall renewable energy target.