A solar view on the EU’s ‘Fit for 55’ package

By Miguel Herrero Cangas, Policy Advisor

The summer is already shaping up to be a busy one in Europe’s capital: in less than two weeks, the European Commission will present its much-awaited ‘Fit for 55’ package, which includes important revised climate and energy laws to meet the EU’s 55% greenhouse gas emissions target by 2030. This requires all energy and climate legislation to be amended to meet the new emission target. 

SolarPower Europe has been working hard on key pieces of legislation to facilitate a fruitful framework for solar to continue to shine brightly in Europe.

The Renewable Energy Directive (RED II): SolarPower Europe calls for a 45% renewables target

The Commission already expressed the need to increase the current 2030 renewable target from 32% to at least 38-40% of the EU’s final energy demand by 2030. However, SolarPower Europe’s assessment is that Europe has the potential to reach a 45% level of renewables, which would put the continent firmly on track to deliver on the 1.5° Paris Agreement scenario.

Read our full position paper now and the Executive Summary here.

The Energy Efficiency Directive (EED)

This EED promotes energy efficiency, which aims to reduce both primary and final energy consumption. 

The revision of the EED should go one step further and ensure that less energy is consumed, and that it is consumed in a smarter way. To this end, the revised EED should promote  energy system efficiency by accelerating renewable-based electrification of energy supply and demand. 

The EED should also adopt a more dynamic approach to energy efficiency that addresses the carbon content of energy and the provision of demand-side flexibility. Finally, the default Primary Energy Factor, which measures the efficiency of the grid, should be reviewed to fully account for the growing share of efficient renewable electricity sources such as solar.

Read our response to the public consultation here. 

EU Emissions Trading System Directive (ETS)

The ETS sets the rules governing the EU market for GHG emissions, determining how costly it is for industry and the power sector to emit. SolarPower Europe supports a revision of the ETS to drive a higher carbon price in the electricity sector, as this would accelerate the clean energy transition. 

The Commission is expected to propose an extension of the ETS to the transport and building sectors, which are not currently in its scope. SolarPower Europe views some form of carbon pricing in all sectors as an essential tool to hasten decarbonisation across the continent. 

However, SolarPower Europe does not support the extension of the ETS to road transport, as other tools, such as emission performance standards for vehicles, would be more efficient in decarbonising this sub-sector. With regards to buildings, we recommend a detailed assessment to ensure the use of renewable electricity is promoted while avoiding negative distributional effects.

Read our position paper here.

Following the Commissions‘ presentatino of the Fit-for-55, the European Council and European Parliament will take their positions on the package. The fourth quarter of 2021, will see the publication of the Revision of the energy performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) and the Revision of the Third Energy Package for gas (Directive 2009/73/EU and Regulation 715/2009/EU) to regulate competitive decarbonised gas markets.

photo copyright: Lukasz Kobus/European Union, 2017

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