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EU Energy Legislation – The Revised Renewable Energy Directive


Renewable Energy Windmill

Renewable Energy Sources contribute to climate change mitigation through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, achieve sustainable development, protect the environment and improve citizens’ health. Moreover, renewable energy is also emerging as a driver of inclusive economic growth, creating jobs and reinforcing energy security across Europe. The current 2020 framework sets an EU 20% target for energy consumption, which relies on legally binding national targets until 2020. National Renewable Energy Action Plans and the biennial monitoring provided for by the Directive 2009/28/EC on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources have been effective in promoting transparency for investors and other economic operators and thereby favoured the rapid deployment increase in the share of renewables from 10.4% in 2007 to 17% in 2015.

Moving forward, the revision of the current renewable energy framework (i.e. Directive 2009/28/EC) is necessary to reflect global change since 2009, increase climate change ambitions and leverage international investment in renewable technologies. Furthermore, the increased use of energy from renewable sources or ‘renewable energy’ constitutes an important part of the package of measures needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and comply with the European Union’s commitment under the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and with the Union’s 2030 energy and climate framework.

Accordingly, the revised Renewable Energy Directive (EU) 2018/2001 establishes a binding EU target of at least 32% for 2030, with a review for increasing this figure in 2023. This Directive establishes a common framework for the promotion of energy from renewable sources. It also lays down rules on financial support for electricity from renewable sources, on self-consumption of such electricity, on the use of energy from renewable sources in the heating and cooling sector and in the transport sector, on regional cooperation between Member States, and between Member States and third countries, on guarantees of origin, on administrative procedures and on information and training. It also establishes sustainability and greenhouse gas emissions saving criteria for biofuels, bioliquids and biomass fuels.

As per Article 3 of the Directive, Member States are required to set national contributions to meet the binding target as part of their integrated national energy and climate plans. From 1 January 2021, the share of energy from renewable sources in each Member State’s gross final consumption of energy shall not be lower than the baseline share shown in the table below. Member States are required to take the necessary measures to ensure compliance with that baseline share.


Country  Share of energy from renewable sources in gross final consumption of energy, 2005 Target for share of energy from renewable sources in gross final consumption of energy, 2020
Belgium 2.2 % 13%
Bulgaria 9.4 % 16%
Czech Republic 6.1 % 13%
Denmark 17.0 % 30%
Germany 5.8 % 18%
Estonia 18.0 % 25%
Ireland 3.1 % 16%
Greece 6.9 % 18%
Spain 8.7 % 20%
France 10.3 % 23%
Croatia 12.6 % 20%
Italy 5.2 % 17%
Cyprus 2.9 % 13%
Latvia 32.6 % 40%
Lithuania 15.0 % 23%
Luxembourg 0.9 % 11%
Hungary 4.3 % 13%
Malta 0.0 % 10%
Netherlands 2.4 % 14%
Austria 23.3 % 34%
Poland 7.2 % 15%
Portugal 20.5 % 31%
Romania 17.8 % 24%
Slovenia 16.0 % 25%
Slovak Republic 6.7 % 14%
Finland 28.5 % 38%
Sweden 39.8 % 49%
United Kingdom 1.3 % 15%


The Directive is supported by the European Commission through an enabling framework comprising the enhanced use of Union funds, especially for the following purposes:

  • reducing the cost of capital for renewable energy projects;
  • developing projects and programmes for integrating renewable sources into the energy system, for increasing flexibility of the energy system, for maintaining grid stability and for managing grid congestions;
  • developing transmission and distribution grid infrastructure, intelligent networks, storage facilities and interconnections, with the objective of arriving at a 15% electricity interconnection target by 2030, in order to increase the technically feasible and economically affordable level of renewable energy in the electricity system;
  • enhancing regional cooperation between Member States and between Member States and third countries, through joint projects, joint support schemes and the opening of support schemes for renewable electricity to producers located in other Member States.

The Renewable Energy Directive (EU) 2018/2001 was published by the European Parliament on the 11th of December 2018. Member States are required to bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with the Directive by 30 June 2021. Directive 2009/28/EC is repealed with effect from 1 July 2021. A solution such as the Pegasus Legal Register can keep you abreast of key regulatory changes at both a national and European level.

Energy , Energy Legislation , Energy Regulations , Renewable Energy , Renewable Energy Sources , Sustainability
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