Sven Giegold

Great success for climate action: With this law, Europe becomes a symbol for the breakthrough of renewable energies

Dear friends,

The Council of EU Member States has just (16 June 2023) given the green light for the massive expansion of renewable energies. After months of blocking, the Council decided to tighten the EU Renewable Energy Directive. An investment boom across the EU will be the result.

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Here’s what the revised EU law brings in detail:

  1. Doubling the expansion of renewables – across the EU: The EU target for the share of renewables in total energy consumption will increase from 32% so far in 2030 to 45%. Of this, 42.5% is legally binding. 2.5% are indicative. By the end of 2021, we will have reached a share of renewables of just under 22% across Europe. So the new target means a doubling in 9 years! That is really strong.
  2. Annually, the law means the installation of 100 GW of wind and solar plants across Europe! Converted, this corresponds to 17 football fields of photovoltaics (PV), 16 onshore wind turbines plus 4 offshore wind turbines every day!
  3. The approval period for renewables will be permanently shortened. Our successes in reducing bureaucracy for renewables and electricity grids within the framework of a temporary EU crisis regulation will thus be permanently secured under European law – with a high level of nature conservation.
  4. There are now for the first time binding targets for all EU countries for the use of renewables in important sectors such as transport, industry and heating. This will massively advance the ramp-up of green hydrogen and e-fuels in aviation. The latter through a separate law.

The result has already been negotiated with the EU Parliament since 30 March. But the adoption in the Council of Member States was delayed for months because France wanted to put its own hydrogen from nuclear power on an equal footing with renewables for the industry subtarget. That failed today in the renewables directive which is for renewable.

In the end, France now got a declaration from the EU Commission that individual ammonia plants can be exempted when the EU Commission calculates the sub-target for green hydrogen in industry. Not nice, but bearable.

The European Parliament now has the final say. It must now finally adopt the Renewable Energy Directive. However, the majority is considered safe.

Today’s decision is another milestone for the European Green Deal and climate action.

The German government has strongly advocated high expansion targets and the acceleration of planning and approval procedures. Now the breakthrough is here!

In Germany, the government’s high expansion targets for renewables will now be secured in a legally binding manner at the European level and facilitated by accelerating approval procedures.

For many of our European partner countries, the deal now means expanding renewables just as consistently as we are now doing successfully in Germany. France in particular will now invest massively in renewables!

Europe will thus quickly become less dependent on fossil energy imports from unreliable supplier countries. Investments worth billions and sustainable jobs will be the result everywhere in Europe.

We have now worked intensively for two years to achieve this success. I would like to thank all the officials involved in the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, the Federal Chancellery, the German Federal Ministry for the Environment and Consumer Protection and the EU Commission, who have done far more than what is written in any employment contract!

Likewise, thanks to the European Parliament, which contributed to strengthening the proposal, as did the ambitious states in the Council of Member States. Thanks to MEPs Markus Pieper, Tiemo Wölken, Michael Bloss, Ville Niinisto, Nicolás González Casares, Jutta Paulus and Bas Eickhout.

I continue not to be distracted by all the noise in the coalition, but continue to work – mostly behind the scenes – on the agenda of our traffic light coalition for environmental, social and economic progress! Here as the federal government’s senior state secretary for the EU ‘Fit for 55’ package.

With this law, Europe becomes a symbol for the breakthrough of renewable energies! A really good day for climate action.

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With best regards,
Yours Sven Giegold

Category: BMWK

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