The European Council, composed out of 28 EU member states, has adopted the binding target of reaching at least 27% renewable energy of its overall energy consumption by 2030.
The agreement, reached on December 18, 2017, paves the way for the Council to start negotiations with the European Parliament in the beginning of the next year.
As reported earlier, the European Parliament approved the resolution on renewables which proposes that minimum of 35% of all energy consumed in the EU would need to come from renewable energy sources by 2030.
The move was endorsed by the EU renewable energy industry which said the increased target would avoid deployment slowdown in the next decade.
The newly adopted legislation addresses bioenergy, sustainability, transport, electricity, heating and cooling, and in particular, focuses on empowering consumers.
Also, member states will have the possibility of opening up their national support schemes across borders to generators of renewable energy in other member states, but the final decision on this will remain with them, the Council said.
Kadri Simson, Minister for Economic Affairs and Infrastructure of the Republic of Estonia, said: “This decision has a direct and positive impact on all Europeans. Using more renewable energy will help our cities, industries and houses become cleaner, healthier and more sustainable.
“The directive will also make it easier for consumers to take the initiative and become producers themselves. Through a combination of action by governments, companies and consumers, we will be able to maintain our global leadership in renewables.”
The Council said the consumers will benefit from simplified notification procedures for small-scale installations, and the rights and obligations of ‘renewable self-consumers’ as well as renewable energy communities which are now clearly set out.
In relation to investments in renewable energy, the Council text, like the Commission’s proposal, addresses the stability of financial support by preventing unjustified retroactive changes to support schemes.
The Council also adopted a target for the transport sector, the renewables target for 2030 has been set at 14% for each member state, and there is a sub-target of 3% for ‘advanced biofuels’, for which double-counting will be allowed, according to the Council.