Policy update

Final recast Renewable Energy Directive for 2021-2030 in the European Union

Alternative fuels
Fuels GHG emissions

As part of its ‘Clean Energy for all Europeans’ package, the European Commission in 2016 proposed an update of the Renewable Energy Directive for the period 2021 – 2030 (RED II). A final compromise document was agreed among EU Institutions on June 14, 2018. This policy update provides an overview of the provisions relating to transport fuels in the final compromise document.

The RED II compromise raises the overall EU target for Renewable Energy Sources (RES) consumption by 2030 to 32%. Furthermore, it mandates member states to require fuel suppliers to supply a minimum of 14% of the energy consumed in road and rail transport by 2030 as renewable energy. Within this target, there is a sub-target for advanced biofuels produced from feedstocks in Part A of Annex IX. These fuels must a minimum of 0.2% of transport energy in 2022, 1% in 2025 and increasing to at least 3.5% by 2030. Advanced biofuels will be double-counted towards both the 3.5% target and towards the 14% target. Biofuels produced from feedstocks in Part B of Annex IX will be capped at 1.7% in 2030 and will also be double counted towards the 14% target.

The RED II defines sustainability criteria for liquid biofuels used in transport, as well as for solid and gaseous biomass fuels used for power, heating and cooling production. Suppliers of bioenergy will have to comply with the criteria in order for the biofuels and bioenergy to account towards the RES target and to be eligible for financial support by public institutions.

The final compromise of the RED II, as opposed to the original RED, leaves several opportunities to member states to tailor certain sustainability requirements and targets when transposing the document into national legislation.