EU lawmakers back 40% energy efficiency target for 2030

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MEPs agreed on Thursday (7 September) to raise the bloc’s proposed energy efficiency targets post-2020 in order to improve chances of meeting EU obligations under the Paris Agreement on climate change. Members of the European Parliament’s environment committee (ENVI) supported increasing the European Commission’s proposed 30% legally-binding target to a more substantial 40% as well as closing a number of loopholes that undermined annual energy savings, according to Euractiv.com.

The committee’s opinion came in reaction to the Commission’s proposed Energy Efficiency Directive unveiled in November 2016 as part of the Clean Energy Package, aimed at moving towards a decarbonised economy by 2030.

MEPs in the energy committee (ITRE) are due to adopt their own position on 28 November. As the lead Parliament committee in charge of the directive, they will come under pressure to match the same high standards set by their ENVI counterparts.

Current energy efficiency legislation obliges member states to save the equivalent of 1.5% of energy sold to consumers every year. But there are a number of loopholes which mean savings across the EU are reduced to just 0.75%, including exempting the transport sector from the obligations.

Those loopholes were closed by the ENVI lawmakers, meaning member states will have to hit their full targets by increasing the rate of building renovation and promoting more efficient consumer goods, like insulation.

Spanish energy firm Iberdrola’s Director of Climate Change, Gonzalo Saenz de Miera, told EURACTIV.com on a recent visit to Brussels that his company will stick to the 1.5% target by “improving the insulation on windows that will reduce the consumption of gas. Or by improving the efficiency in the transport sector”.

“We’re not going to provide insulation services ourselves. Energy efficiency businesses will sell their services to companies that are obliged to make the reductions” and make those available via a system of white certificates, Saenz de Miera said.

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