EU laws requiring member states to use “at least 10%” renewable energy in transport will be scrapped after 2020, the European Commission confirmed, hoping to set aside a protracted controversy surrounding the environmental damage caused by biofuels.
The European Commission will table a revision of the Renewable Energy Directive at the end of 2016, aiming to further push renewable sources like wind and solar across the European Union.
On transport, “we will look specifically at the challenges and opportunities of renewable fuels including biofuels”, said Marie C. Donnelly, Director for Renewables at the European Commission.
The current directive, adopted in 2008, requires each EU member state to have “at least 10%” renewable energy used in transport by 2020 – including from biofuels and other sources like green electricity.
This has drawn criticism in Britain, where reaching the 10% target will require doubling current biofuel supply, adding a further penny per litre on pump prices, according to a leaked memo by the Department for Transport.
But the 10% target will be dropped in the new directive, Donnelly told a breakfast seminar organised at the European Parliament on Tuesday (3 May).
“What’s not going to be in the text is a target for the transport sector,” she said, confirming a decision by EU leaders in October 2014 to have only one target for renewable energies across the 28 EU member states that “will not be translated into nationally binding targets”.
“The continuation of the sub-target for the transport sector is something that has not been accepted and will not be continued in our proposal at the end of this year,” she told the event, organised by Kaidi, a Finnish firm producing biodiesel from wood-based biomass.