The EU RES Directive
In Dec 2008, the European Parliament adopted the Climate Change Package with an aim to achieve the EU climate targets by 2020: a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, a 20% improvement in energy efficiency, and a 20% share for renewables in the EU energy mix.
The renewable energy (RES) Directive lays down mandatory national targets to be achieved by EU-27 through promoting the use of renewable energy in the electricity, heating and cooling, and transport sectors in order to ensure that renewable energy makes up at least 20% of the EU's total energy consumption by 2020. The agreement foresees also that renewable energy, such as biofuels, electricity and hydrogen produced from renewable sources, account for at least 10% of the EU's total fuel consumption in all forms of transport by 2020.
The EU Member States have to adopt, publish and notify to the Commission their National Action Plans. The plans must ensure that authorisation, certification and licensing procedures are simplified to remove barriers in the development of renewables market.
In terms of reaching the mandatory national targets, the RES Directive provides the flexibility to use support schemes and measures of cooperation between different EU-27 and with third countries in accordance with Articles 5-11 of the Directives. It is for the very first time, that an EU piece of legislation makes a reference to the Energy Community Treaty and envisages mutually benefitting cooperation between EU-27 and the Contracting Parties. In the Directive’s recital 37 it says – “If, by virtue of a decision taken under the Energy Community Treaty to that effect, the contracting parties to that treaty become bound by the relevant provisions of this Directive, the measures of co-operation between Member States foreseen in this Directive will be applicable to them.” In Article 9, the Directive additionally outlines joint co-operation projects between the Energy Community and the EU-27.