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The European Council has adopted the new Renewables Energy Directive to raise the share of renewable energy in the EU’s overall energy consumption to 42.5% by 2030 with an additional 2.5% indicative top up to allow the target of 45% to be achieved. Each member state will contribute to this common target.
 
All member states will contribute to achieving more ambitious sector-specific targets in transport, industry, buildings and district heating and cooling. The purpose of the sub-targets is to speed up the integration of renewables in sectors where incorporation has been slower.
 
Permit procedures for renewable energy projects will be accelerated. The intention is to fast- track the deployment of renewable energies in the context of the EU’s REPowerEU plan to become independent from Russian fossil fuels, after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
 
Member states will design renewables acceleration areas where renewable energy projects will undergo simplified and fast permit-granting processes. Renewable energy deployment will also be presumed to be of ‘overriding public interest’, which will limit the grounds of legal objections to new installations.
 
The directive states that industry will need to increase the use of renewable energy annually by 1.6%. Member states agreed that 42% of the hydrogen used in industry should come from renewable fuels of non-biological origin (RFNBOs) by 2030 and 60% by 2035.
 
The new rules set an indicative target of at least a 49% renewable energy share in buildings in 2030. Renewable targets for heating and cooling will gradually increase, with a binding increase of 0.8% per year at national level until 2026 and 1.1% from 2026 to 2030. The minimum annual average rate applicable to all member states is complemented by additional indicative increases calculated specifically for each member state.
 
The directive has been formally adopted. It will now be published in the EU’s Official Journal and enter into force 20 days later. Member states will have 18 months after the entry into force of the directive to transpose it into national legislation.
 
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