Fit-for-55 Package

On 14 July the European Commission published a package of legislative proposal collectively called “Fit-for-55″, designed to help the EU meet its climate goals. In addition to a communication on the package, the package includes revisions to: the EU ETS (including changes to aviation and how it will interact with CORSIA), the Effort Sharing Regulation, the LULUCF RegulationREDIIIEED, CO2 standards for cars and vansalternative fuel infrastructureREFuelEU AviationFuelEU Maritime, the ETD, and the creation of the CBAM. All of the documents are available on the EU’s website.

Renewable Energy Directive Review – Biomass Sustainability

The proposal includes important changes to the criteria including a lower exemption threshold (above 5MW); establishment of NO-GO areas with the extension of existing land criteria for agricultural biomass also to forest biomass (including primary, highly biodiverse forests and peatlands). Furthermore, new elements have been added to Article 29(6) to minimise the negative impact of harvesting on soil quality and biodiversity inspired by the JRC report on woody biomass for energy. Article 29(10) REDII is amended applying the existing greenhouse gas saving thresholds for electricity, heating and cooling production from biomass fuels retroactively to existing installations: 70% until end of 2025 and 80% from beginning of 2026 (not only new installations). The way biomass support is granted is also addressed by the proposal: Beginning in 2027, support will no longer be allowed for biomass-power only electricity generation unless the plant produces electricity with BIO-CSS or it is located in a region with a European Commission approved just transition plan. Specific feedstock categories are also excluded from support (saw logs, veneer logs, stumps and roots). Finally, the Commission proposes to draft a Delegated Act on how to apply the cascading principle for biomass. The Secretariat has drafted the REDIII Policy Brief to summarise the main changes. The public consultation is open until midnight (Brussels time) 10 September. Bioenergy Europe will submit a reply and encourages members to submit individual replies. For more information, please contact Giulia Cancian.

Renewable Energy Directive Review – Heating & Cooling

The text rightly promotes the switch from fossil fuel heating systems to RES and stresses the need for consistency with the EPBD. The shortage of RHC installers is recognised as a barrier to phasing out fossil fuel systems. Nevertheless, the renewable heat targets in Article 23 remain disproportionally low, setting a business-as-usual approach which will not be enough to achieve the new 49% renewables in buildings target set out in Article 15. For more information, please contact Irene di Padua.

Energy Taxation Directive

The European Commission released the legislative proposal for a revision of Energy Taxation Directive. As one of the main changes, the scope was extended on solid wood products within categories within CN codes 4401 and 4402 which include: fuel wood, briquettes, pellets etc. Moreover, it replaces also the general rule of taxation of energy products based on its volume by their energy content. The Secretariat has drafted the ETD Policy Brief which will guide you through the main building blocks of the revision. The public consultation is open until midnight (Brussels time) 10 September. Bioenergy Europe will submit a rely and encourages members to submit individual replies. For more information, please contact Michal Dlugosz