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CLEAN ENERGY: S&Ds lead EU transition towards increased energy savings and more renewables


Innovation & Enterprise
During a plenary debate yesterday, Socialists and Democrats explained the successful outcome of recent negotiations with the Council of the European Union on the Clean Energy Package. Tomorrow, the plenary will back the deal reached by the parliament’s negotiators Mirolsav Poche and José Blanco for a new Energy Efficiency Directive and a Renewable Energy Directive, along with a new regulation on energy governance.
S&Ds have pushed for ambitious targets – a headline target of 32.5% improvement of energy efficiency by 2030 and a binding target of 32% share of renewable energy in the EU by 2030 - in order to align the European objectives with the fulfilment of the Paris Agreement against Climate Change.  
The S&D negotiators also secured affordable energy for all and in particular for the most vulnerable groups.           
S&D MEP Miroslav Poche, who is the author of the parliamentary report on the Energy Efficiency Directive, said:
“Saving energy is a win-win policy for all Europeans. It is estimated that a 32.5% energy efficiency improvement by 2030 for will create 840,000 jobs in the EU, not to mention the money saved and the protection of the environment. We expect to be even more ambitious before 2030, as we ensured an upwards-only review by 2023 to take into account expected cost reductions resulting from economic or technological changes.
“It is also very good news for the competitiveness of European industry, reducing costs and stimulating additional investment, growth and employment; particularly in the construction sector.
“Above all, we are proud to have kept our word and implemented the Energy Poverty Manifesto adopted by the S&D Group in March 2016. Citizens will benefit because they will be able to afford to pay for heating in winter and cooling in the summer, and better insulated buildings will improve everyone’s well-being.”
The Parliament’s negotiator for renewable energy, S&D MEP José Blanco, said:
“This is a big step towards an energy revolution that is very much needed, and I am glad that the EU is taking the global lead in the transition to a sustainable economic model. We are setting the ground for a future carbon-free economy that will save Europe millions of euros in fuel imports, it will empower citizens to produce their own energy, and it will improve our health and environment. This revolution will affect the heating and cooling sectors as well as transport, it will foster innovation and it will create new opportunities for businesses and job creation.
"The agreement establishes the right to self-consumption, to generate, consume, store and sell the excess production of renewable electricity and the right to be remunerated for the electricity injected in to the grid.
“One key aspect is the legal certainty that we provide for renewables, along with an ethical and sustainable use of these renewable sources. We have learnt from previous mistakes and for the first time we put in place a consistent strategy. High indirect land use change (ILUC) biofuels will be phased out through a certification process for low ILUC biofuels, which is to be established.*
“We dis-incentivise investments in new production of food crop-based biofuels, and we push for advanced biofuels, using materials such as forest residues, agricultural waste and manure from livestock.
"The Union will allocate additional funds to facilitate a just transition of carbon intensive regions towards increased shares of renewable energy."
*Note to the editors:
First generation biofuels will be capped at the level consumed in each member state in 2020, with an additional 1% point allowed (always with a ceiling cap of 7%) and those member state below 2% allowed to go up to 2%.