Policy Making Mixed Progress

After a concerted effort from a highly engaged minority, the EU Commission’s proposal did not introduce binding national targets on renewable energy, nor strengthen the bioenergy sustainability criteria, although the 2030 renewable energy target has been increased to 40%. The EU Parliament proposal appears to weaken the reform by supporting a role for low-carbon fuels, and the EU Council proposed to water down renewable energy sub-targets for several sectors.

InfluenceMap Query

Renewable Energy

Policy Status

Under consideration: proceeding to trilogues after votes in EU Parliament and Council.

  • European Parliament: Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) Committee
  • Rapporteur: Markus Pieper (European People's Party)
  • European Council: Working Party on Energy

Evidence Profile

164174121118350

European Commission

European Parliament

European Council

Lobbying Overview

Overview of Corporate and Industry Lobbying

The aggregated evidence of corporate and industry lobbying on the RED reform shows mostly supportive engagement from the utilities and renewable energy sectors advocating for higher ambition. However, there has been a concerted lobbying effort from the gas industry to undermine several key areas of the policy.

Long-term Lobbying Trends

Utilities and renewable energy sectors have actively pushed for greater ambition to increase the 2030 renewable energy targets and ensure non-renewable low-carbon fuels were not included in RED targets. This included actors such as and WindEurope and Iberdrola, and SolarPower Europe advocated for targets to be nationally binding. They were also keen to ensure that, within terminology and certification reforms, new definitions for low-carbon fuels would be excluded, preventing the inclusion of fossil fuel based, low-carbon fuels in the directive.

Some of the utilities sector have advocated against increasing the ambition of targets, CEZ not supporting the reintroduction of binding national targets and Fortum advocating for the EU Commission to favor EU ETS reforms to meet the EU’s climate objectives.

Agricultural and forestry interest groups opposed the proposed strengthening of the bioenergy sustainability criteria. Copa Cogeca, argued it would hinder bioenergy production in the EU.

The gas sector and heavy industry and cross-sector associations aimed to integrate non-renewable, low-carbon fuels into the directive. Associations including GasNaturally, and Gas Distributors for Sustainability (GD4S) strongly argued for the addition of a binding sub-target for decarbonized and renewable gases. VNO-NCW , CEFIC, and Eurofer advocated for the inclusion of non-renewable, low-carbon fuels in terminology and certification reforms enabling them to contribute to the EU-level renewable energy and sub-targets for transport, stating that a technology-neutral approach would be the most cost-effective.

Lobbying on the proposal since EU Commission adoption in July 2021

The energy and chemical sectors have lobbied against the Delegated Act on Provisions for RFNBOs. In 2021-22, entities such as Fortum, Gas Distributors for Sustainability (GD4S), EDF, Engie, and Eurofer (European Steel Association) did not appear to support strict guidelines for additionality and temporal correlation for RNFBOs. Hydrogen Europe did not support strict guidelines for renewable hydrogen, instead supporting a grandfathering clause that would delay implementation until 2027.

Entities across the gas, heavy industry and transport sectors have advocated for the inclusion of low-carbon fuels, particularly low-carbon hydrogen, within the directive’s renewable energy targets, such as Eurogas, Equinor, Air Liquide, BASF and the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA).

The renewable energy sector has pushed for increased ambition after the EU Commission’s proposal, SolarPower Europe called for at least a 45% renewable energy target, and for no fossil fuel produced hydrogen to be included in the definition for renewable hydrogen, and WindEurope advocating to policymakers to refrain from including low-carbon fuels in the scope of RED. Following the REPowerEU initiative, a plan to reduce dependence on Russian fossil fuels, proposed to increase the 2030 renewable energy target from 40% to 45%, Hydrogen Europe supported the higher 2030 target, while Iberdrola supported a strict definition for renewable hydrogen and simplified permitting procedures.

Lobbying Impacts on Policy Ambition

By considering the potential scenarios in the EU Commission's original Impact Assessment Report for RED reform, and comparing this to the final proposal, a gauge of the impact of industry lobbying can be taken. In this case, intense engagement from heavy industry appears to correlate to the adoption of several weaker positions by the EU Commission, Parliament and Council, although supportive lobbying from the renewable energy sector seems to have strengthened some elements.

EU Commission Proposal

  • Renewable energy targets: The RED reform sets a 40% renewable energy target by 2030 , and it is in the higher band of options considered by the EU Commission in the 2030 Climate Target Plan impact assessment. However, the proposal failed to reintroduce binding national targets in the directive after they were phased out in 2014. The RED proposal also set sectoral sub-targets, targeting a 1.1% annual expansion of renewables in industry and heating and cooling, 49% renewables in buildings by 2030, and a 13% GHG intensity reduction of transport by 2030.

  • Low-carbon fuels: The EU Commission’s ambition to ensure only renewable energy is supported through the directive appears to have been maintained, despite concerted efforts from the gas sector to include low-carbon fuels terminology and certification reforms and add a binding sub-target for decarbonized and renewable gases. The RED revision proposed Delegated Acts to review key regulations and criteria within the directive, the result of which will impact the ambition of the policy. This includes Provisions for Renewable Fuels of Non-Biological Origin (RFNBOs) (delayed), the GHG methodology for assessing emissions savings from RFNBOs and recycled carbon fuels (delayed), and the production of transport renewable transport fuels (delayed).

  • Bioenergy criteria: The RED proposal saw a limited strengthening of the bioenergy sustainability criteria.

  • Delegated Acts: Heavy lobbying pressure in 2021-22 from the energy and chemical sector saw the EU Commission’s Delegated Act on methodology for RFNBOs include several weaker elements in its proposal under RED. This includes a grandfathering clause, that enables hydrogen production facilities before 2027 to benefit from weaker guidelines for additionally and temporal correlation.

EU Parliament Position

The European Parliament's position on the revision of the Renewable Energy Directive increased the ambition of some elements of the EU Commission's proposal, but also weakened criteria on renewable hydrogen.

  • Renewable energy targets: The proposal supports a 45% renewable energy target by 2030, in line the EU Commission's higher ambition as part of the REPowerEU proposal. The Parliament also supported stronger sub-targets for transport, industry, and renewable fuels of non-biological origin (RFNBOs)

  • Biomass rules: The proposal increased ambition on rules for biomass, including removing certain forms of "primary woody biomass" as forms of renewable energy, which no longer enables it to receive subsidies, and introducing a cap on the amount of biomass that could be counted towards the 2030 renewable energy target.

  • Renewable hydrogen additionality: Significant industry pressure weakened the proposal as it scrapped strict additionality requirements for renewable hydrogen at EU-level that would have ensured the production of renewable hydrogen from renewable energy sources.

EU Council Position

The EU Council’s position on the EU Renewable Energy Directive revision weakened several elements of the EU Commission’s proposal.

  • EU level target: The proposal supports a 40% target by 2030, in line with the EU Commission. However, the Commission plans to adopt a 45% target by 2030 as part of REPowerEU, but the council did not take up this option.

  • Renewable energy sub-targets: The Council watered down renewable energy sub-targets in the transport, buildings, heating and cooling sectors.

  • Bioenergy sustainability criteria: Provisions to strengthen bioenergy sustainability criteria were weakened, including exemptions for the cascading principle and the removal of its Delegated Act.

  • Low-carbon fuels: Despite industry pressure to include non-renewable low-carbon fuels, these were excluded from the proposal.

InfluenceMap Query

Renewable Energy

Policy Status

Under consideration: proceeding to trilogues after votes in EU Parliament and Council.

  • European Parliament: Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) Committee
  • Rapporteur: Markus Pieper (European People's Party)
  • European Council: Working Party on Energy

Evidence Profile

164174121118350

European Commission

European Parliament

European Council

Live Lobbying Alerts

Hydrogen Europe appears supportive of EU climate policy

05 July 2022

In a 27th June press release, Hydrogen Europe welcomed the European Parliament position on the EU Emission Trading Scheme (ETS). The association supported the EU ETS extension into the maritime and aviation sectors, and a new scheme for the buildings and transport sectors. It also advocated for coverage of the hydrogen sector in the system. Hydrogen Europe also appeared to support the EU Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) proposal from the EU Parliament. The group supported the gradual phase out of free allowances from the EU ETS, without specifying a timeline. However, it also called for rebates for exporters by emphasizing risk of carbon leakage. Finally, CEO Jorgo Chatzimarkakis advocated for higher sectoral sub-targets and targets for renewable fuels of non-biological origin (RFNBOs) in the EU Renewable Energy Directive revision, following the EU Council’s position on the policy.

Hydrogen Europe supports weakening of EU Renewable Energy Directive

09 June 2022

Industry association Hydrogen Europe appeared to support a weakening of the Delegated Acts in the EU Renewable Energy Directive. The group supported including a grandfathering clause to delay stricter guidelines for renewable hydrogen projects until 2027, and did not support strict temporal correlation guidelines in a 24th May position paper.

ERT supports EU renewable energy and energy efficiency regulations

18 May 2022

In a 12th May statement, the European Round Table for Industry (ERT) communicated high-level support for the EU's Renewable Energy Directive and other renewable energy incentives, including power purchase agreements. In the same statement, ERT supported an acceleration of energy efficiency initiatives, and for a number of measures to strengthen the proposed Energy Efficiency Directive.

Hydrogen Europe supports weakening the EU Renewable Energy Directive

30 June 2022

A 21st June Argus Media article reported that industry association Hydrogen Europe supported weakening the EU Commission's proposal for the Renewable Energy Directive, by supporting less ambitious thresholds for renewable hydrogen.

Eurofer supports weakening RED and EED

27 May 2022

In a position paper published on 19th May, Eurofer advocated to weaken the reform of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) by supporting the inclusion of recycled carbon fuels and advocating for more flexible additionality criteria. The association also did not support proposed GHG emission standards for cogeneration in the Energy Efficiency Directive reform.

Entities Engaged on Policy

The table below lists the entities found to be most engaged with the policy. InfluenceMap tracks over 350 companies and 150 industry associations globally. Each entity name links to its full InfluenceMap profile, where the evidence of its engagement can be found.

Influencemap Performance BandOrganizationEngagement Intensity
DExxonMobil50EnergyNorth America
C-General Electric31IndustrialsNorth America
C-Shell63EnergyEurope
CBP60EnergyEurope
CVolkswagen Group54AutomobilesEurope
D-BusinessEurope53All SectorsEurope
C-European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic)58ChemicalsEurope
CEuropean Round Table for Industry (ERT)20All SectorsEurope
D+European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA)40AutomobilesEurope
D-International Federation of Industrial Energy Consumers (IFIEC)35All SectorsEurope