EUGINE comments on the review of the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Directives

15 February 2021

With the aim of helping the European Union reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, the European Commission is currently preparing its “Fit for 55 package”, which should include amendments to the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) and to the Renewable Energy Directive (RED).

EUGINE considers both directives to be essential instruments in the decarbonization of Europe. Engine power generation supports the energy efficiency and renewable targets by using renewable gases such as biogas and clean hydrogen to efficiently provide dispatchable green electricity and heat.

To reach the new, ambitious, climate and energy targets, the revision of RED should go beyond electricity and better support the development and use of renewable gases, from biogas to renewable hydrogen.

To build the future integrated and net-zero energy system, the European Union will need to consistently promote the decarbonization of the gas grid. All kinds of mechanisms, from support schemes to quotas and green certificates will be needed to increase the share of renewable and low-carbon gases.

Similarly, a higher ambition will also be needed on energy efficiency. The current EED has been instrumental in raising awareness on the need to increase energy efficiency across the EU, but more could have been done.

Worryingly, heat generation from combined heat-and-power (CHP) has decreased (and not increased) since 2005, thus hampering important cost and energy savings in district heating, industrial heat, and public services. To be truly effective, the EED will need to continue encouraging CHP, notably by promoting a truly integrated energy-system approach that looks at the interactions between sectors, instead of taking them separately.

Finally, a note of caution: the EU Climate and Energy Policy defines separate targets for energy efficiency and the share of renewables. Both aspects contribute to climate-neutrality. However, while they are complementary, mixing up both policies will not lead to more effective action. Only by focusing on specific targets and making the most out of all resources and technologies will the EU reach its ambitious objectives.

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