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S&Ds in plenary: Energy efficiency and renewables’ Directives must and will work for the people and the planet


12 Sep 2022



The Socialists and Democrats are voting in favour of two pieces of EU legislation concerning energy efficiency and renewable energy. The adoption of the new Directives will have a direct impact on the amount people and businesses spend on electricity and will also open opportunities for new high-quality jobs. The Energy Efficiency Directive and the Renewable Energy Directive will now go to vote in plenary after considerable improvements were made to the legislative texts by the Socialists and Democrats who built a strong majority around their proposals already during the adoption of the Directives at committee level in July.

Niels Fuglsang, S&D MEP and EP negotiator on the Energy Efficiency Directive, said:

“Reducing energy consumption in the EU by 40% in 2030, compared to the 2007 projection, would be a major success for Europeans. In its response to the invasion of Ukraine, the European Commission made a legal proposal to increase the EU’s 2030 energy efficiency target from 36% to 39% and to make it mandatory for the Member States. This is a big step forward, but we need to go further. Numbers say it all: a 40% target could cut gas imports by 190 billion cubic meters per year. That’s equivalent to three and a half times the capacity of Russia’s Nord Stream 1 pipeline. In order to reach the reduction of 40%, we included binding national targets without burdening the most vulnerable of our citizens. 3% of all public buildings must be energy renovated every year, companies must implement energy efficiency measures that can pay themselves off within 3 years, and heating and cooling plans should be rolled out in larger municipalities all over Europe. We built a strong majority during the committee vote and we hope it will reaffirm its support for the Energy Efficiency in Directive in the European Parliament’s plenary.”

Nicolás González Casares MEP, S&D negotiator on the Renewable Energy Directive (RED III), said:

“45% of the EU’s energy consumption should come from renewable sources by the end of this decade. We often talk these days on the need to cut dependence from Russian energy commodities. While this is true, we also have to limit our dependence on imports from other third countries too, and renewables are a great solution to the problem. By voting and applying the ideas of the S&Ds into the EU legislation, our citizens and businesses will be offered more affordable, secure and green energy. Our group reached its goal for the new Directive on renewables to be more ambitious than the initial legislative proposal made by the European Commission. Thus, we increased the general objective for renewable energies from 40% to 45% as an overall percentage of energy consumption in the EU by 2030, in line with the REPowerEU Plan.

“We managed to maintain the Directive to promote only renewable energy. We, the Socialists and Democrats would not agree to eventual attempts to promote other types of energy.  To achieve this goal, the S&D Group has supported measures, new tools and targets for the building, heating and cooling, and transport and industry sectors. Sectoral measures are essential for the massive deployment of renewable energy that is needed. The report also improves the provisions for the sectoral integration of the energy system, which will allow a more efficient integration of renewable energies into the energy system. In this sense, green hydrogen plays an important role in the promotion of sustainability. We are convinced that investments in the Research and Development sector when it comes to renewable energy would bring us closer and faster to the goals of this legislation and would create high-quality jobs for Europeans.”