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EU adopts new directive to cut energy consumption by 11.7 per cent in 2030

The EU Council has adopted a new Energy Efficiency Directive to reduce final energy consumption in the bloc by 11.7 per cent in 2030 (25 July).

EU countries will benefit from flexibility in reaching the target, EU Council said via a press release.

The new directive will aim to ensure a collective reduction of final energy consumption of at least 11.7 per cent 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 993 million tonnes of oil equivalent for primary consumption.

The consumption limit for final consumption will be binding for all EU countries, while the primary energy consumption target will be indicative, according to the new rules.

As a result of the new directive, EU member states will set indicative national contributions and trajectories towards reaching the target in their Integrated National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs).

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 per cent.

The Commission will calculate whether all the contributions add up to the 11.7 per cent 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 gap-filling mechanism is based on, among other things, energy intensity, GDP per capita, development of renewables and energy savings potential.

The annual energy savings target for final energy consumption will gradually increase from 2024 to 2030. EU member states will need to ensure new annual savings of 1.49 per cent of final energy consumption on average during this period, gradually reaching 1.9 per cent on 31 December 2030.

EU countries are able to 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 Emissions Trading System (for installations and for buildings and transport) and emergency energy measures.

The new directive will now be published in the EU’s Official Journal and enter into force 20 days later.

The current Energy Efficiency Directive, in force since December 2018, sets a target of reducing both primary and final energy consumption by 32.5 per cent by 2030 at the EU level, compared with the energy consumption forecasts for 2030 made in 2007.

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