The Council presidency and the European Parliament negotiators have reached a provisional political agreement to reduce final energy consumption at EU level by 11.7% in 2030.
Member states will benefit from flexibilities in reaching the target. In the headline target, member states would collectively ensure a reduction of final energy consumption of at least 11.7% in 2030, compared with the energy consumption forecasts for 2030 made in 2020.
This translates into an upper limit to the EU’s final energy consumption of 763 million tonnes of oil equivalent and of 993 million tonnes of oil equivalent for primary consumption.
The Council said consumption limit for final consumption will be binding for member states collectively, whereas the primary energy consumption target will be indicative.
Final energy consumption represents energy consumed by end-users, while primary energy consumption also includes what is used for the production and supply of energy.
The Council and Parliament also agreed that all member states will contribute to achieving the overall EU target through indicative national contributions and trajectories, set by the member states in their integrated national energy and climate plans (NECPs). Updated NECPs are due in 2023 and 2024.
The formula for calculating national contributions towards the target (defined in Annex I to the proposal) will be indicative, with the possibility of deviating from it by 2.5%.
The Commission will calculate whether all the contributions add up to the 11.7% target and, if not, issue corrections to the national contributions that are lower than what they would have been if using the formula (the so-called gap-filling mechanism).
The formula is based on, among other things, energy intensity, GDP per capita, development of renewables and energy savings potential.
The Council and Parliament agreed to a gradual increase of the annual energy savings target for final energy consumption from 2024 to 2030. Member states will ensure new annual savings of 1.49% of final energy consumption on average during this period, gradually reaching 1.9% on 31 December 2030.
The co-legislators agreed that member states could count in the calculation towards the target, energy savings realised through policy measures under the current and the revised energy performance of buildings directive; measures stemming from the EU ETS (for installations and for buildings and transport); emergency energy measures.
The Council and the Parliament equally agreed to a specific obligation for the public sector to achieve an annual energy consumption reduction of 1.9% that can exclude public transport and armed forces.
In addition to this, member states would be required to renovate each year at least 3% of the total floor area of buildings owned by public bodies.
The Council said the provisional political agreement will first be submitted to the Committee of Permanent Representatives in the Council and the Parliament’s ITRE committee for approval. The directive will then need to be formally adopted by the Parliament and then the Council, before it can be published in the EU’s Official Journal and enter into force.
By Bosco Agba