MEPs vote to strengthen EU efficiency and renewable energy targets
Members of the European Parliament (MEP) voted on 28 November in a poll for renewable energy and efficiency targets.
The conclusive vote was in favour of increasing targets within the EU energy and climate policy to a 40% efficiency goal and national targets for 2030.
The Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) voted on two directives that will shape the part of the European Commission’s Clean Energy for All Europeans package of legislation that was tabled in 2016.
The outcome of the vote was 33 in favour and 32 against, demonstrating a very divided Parliament but none-the-less making the targets legally binding.
Leading the directive was Adam Gierek of the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) European group.
The results of the vote mirrored the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety’s non-binding opinion voted for in September.
The directive’s biggest obstacle was the centre-right European’s People Party, in which a member, Markus Pieper, denounced the S&D group for being influenced by a “utopian” concept of energy efficiency.
“We had to face serious attempts [from the European People’s Party] to water down the EED,” reported Martina Werner, S&D.
“Even the Commission acknowledged that their amendments, for example on the annual savings rate, would amount to 0%, for the period 2021-2030. This is not acceptable.”
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.