European Parliament officially adopts 45% renewable target but creates uncertainty around renewable hydrogen

14 September 2022

  • In line with SolarPower Europe’s ‘Yes to 45% RES’ campaign, during plenary session in Strasbourg MEPs voted to officially adopt a 45% renewable energy target for Europe for 2030 within the Renewable Energy Directive.


  • Final voting numbers were 418 votes in favour of the updated Renewable Energy Directive, with 109 against, and 111 abstentions.  


  • The European Parliament move follows the European Commission’s official proposal of a 45% renewable target in May 2022, as part of the EU’s REPowerEU war response plans. The third decision-making body, the Council of the European Union, endorsed a 40% target in June 2022. Based on these positions, this autumn the Parliament, Commission, and Council will negotiate on the EU’s renewable target. 


  • Within the wider targets of Renewable Energy Directive, MEPs voted to remove the Delegated Act on additionality. The move has created industry concern around the legal certainty for renewable hydrogen. 

As part of plenary votes on the Renewable Energy Directive, members of the European Parliament have officially adopted a minimum 45% renewable target for Europe for 2030. With a final vote of 418 in favour of the Renewable Energy Directive, the target received broad support from MEPs across the political spectrum.

Wednesday 14 September 2022, Strasbourg

Lead MEP on the issue, Markus Pieper (DE, EPP) said in a press conference following the vote

“It is a good day in the Energy Transition. We are banking on renewable energies, because we know they are the only thing that will make us independent from fossil fuels... The Russian war on Ukraine has made us more aware of our dependency.” 


Reflecting a long-running SolarPower Europe campaign for a 45% renewables target for Europe – or higher – the European Parliament and European Commission are now aligned on a 45% target, with only the Council of the European Union remaining at 40%.  

“A minimum 45% target is the most cost-effective pathway to climate neutrality. More renewables in our energy mix means less dependency on dangerous fossil fuels and more affordable clean energy for European households and businesses. With the European Parliament and Commission having said ‘Yes to 45% RES’, we call on the Council to match this level of ambition.” 

Policy Director, Dries Acke

Wider votes on the Renewable Energy Directive covered the Delegated Act on renewable hydrogen, which aims at establishing a rapid and harmonised definition of renewable hydrogen across the continent.  

The Delegated Act also sets out the principle of additionality, which would earmark renewable projects specifically to power electrolysers, therefore enhancing the role of renewable hydrogen as a complementary solution to direct electrification. In a tight vote – 310 v. 314 – MEPs voted to reject the Delegated Act. 

Policy Advisor on Renewable Hydrogen, Arthur Daemers

“Today’s vote on the Delegated Act amendment creates uncertainty for the renewable hydrogen sector. It jeopardises the adoption of robust legal definition, which would have ensured that electrolyser deployment does not depend on fossil fuels. Right now, developers have dozens of projects in the pipeline, waiting for the clarification of the rules. The vote today only delays the acceleration that Europe needs in order to meet its climate and security goals." 

Press conference by Markus PIEPER, rapporteur, on the revision of the Renewable Energy Directive

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Lead MEP on the Renewable Energy Directive, Markus Pieper (DE, EPP) speaking at a press conference following the plenary vote.

© European Union 2022 - Source : EP Download here

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