Renewable Energy Directive

On 25 June 2009, the EU adopted the Renewable Energies Directive (RED) as part of the Energy Climate Package. This directive is the reference piece of legislation providing the framework for the development of sustainable biofuels. The EU has today the world’s most advanced legislation in terms of sustainability of biofuels. This very ambitious framework needs still to be implemented in a number of Member States.

The delays and differences in transposing the RED by the majority of EU Member States have fragmented the EU internal market with differing time frames and approaches in different Member States. Hence, nearly 21 months after the deadline for transposing the Directive by the EU Member States, there are still significant barriers and obstacles to the effective functioning of the supply chain and the EU internal market for biomass and biofuel products.

On 17 October 2012, the European Commission issued a proposal to address the indirect land use change (iLUC) impact of biofuels. This proposal aims at amending the Renewable Energy Directive and the Fuel Quality Directive. The Commission proposal entails fundamental changes to EU policy on renewable energy only three years after its inception. If adopted, the proposal, which is now undergoing reading in Parliament and Council, would have a serious impact on the whole renewables’ sector in Europe and on the achievability of 2020 objectives.