There has been a lot of criticism about the recently updated Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) and it would be good for the European Commission to look at it again, a high-ranking EU executive official has admitted.
“I think the Commission will probably do well to look at it again, whether this will lead to a new proposal or anything,” said Artur Runge-Metzger, director of the Directorate for Climate Action of the Commission, at last week’s EURACTIV event.
“I’m hearing a lot of criticism,” he added.
The EU Member States have revised the Renewable Energy Directive as part of the’ Clean Energy for All Europeans ‘ package to both boosts the use of renewables and help the bloc fulfil its obligations under the Paris Agreement.
The EU has agreed, in particular, to set a target of 14 per cent for renewables in transport.
EU countries are currently tweaking their draft National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs), which for the coming decade will set the precise mix of renewable energy. The deadline for sending their completed proposals is year-end.
Nonetheless, a report recently published by Farm Europe, a think tank specialized in agricultural problems, suggests that the current draft policies are likely to be unsuccessful due to the lack of calculation method for the cost-effectiveness of the measures.
The EU risks meeting its goal of decarbonizing transport by 2030, as there is no cost-effectiveness estimate of the various proposed measures in the current draft budgets of member states, a study found.
The study stressed that “vaguely” the overwhelming majority of member countries, such as Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Poland, rely on electrification.
According to the report, however, the cost of switching to electric cars is not estimated in any Member State, and slow progress in electrification technology could be an obstacle to rapid deployment.
Asked by EURACTIV how a strategy can be successful without first assessing the costs, Runge-Metzger disagreed “very strongly” with the opinion that when writing the national plans, member states did not take into account costs.
“I think that’s wrong[…] We don’t get all the details and put them in the NECPs as[ in this case] an NECP could easily turn into a 1,500-page document if you want to put all the details in it,” he said.
“In its guidelines, the Commission said it would be useful to provide simpler estimates and better statistics in some cases. There’s no doubt about it, but I reject the argument that the member states weren’t looking at any cost at all, “he said, adding that any government that didn’t do that would soon be out of office.
Runge-Metzger said that all key parties are expected to sit around the same table in the new year and have a deep reflection on what’s next. “I think all industries will need to add all viable technology, we’ll need to look at them again,” he said.