Specific renewables targets for residential and commercial buildings

It is a sign of the times that a Directive dating from December 2018 that doesn't need to be transposed into national law before 30 June 2021 is already up for review. As explained previously, the main reason is to tighten the 2018 Directive's renewables target (1) in line with the planned acceleration of emissions reductions by 2030 (50-55% by 2030; up from the current 40%).

(1) Under the current Directive, "The share of energy from renewable sources in the Union's gross final consumption of energy in 2030 must be at least 32%."

However, it is confirmed in the Inception Impact Assessment issued on 3 August that the European Commission will profit from the reopening of the Directive to consider all possible ways of increasing renewable energy use.

The Directive's only direct obligation concerning buildings is the very general requirement on member states to impose "the use of minimum levels of energy from renewable sources in new buildings and in existing ones subject to major renovation insofar as technically, functionally and economically feasible and reflecting the EPBD Article 5(2) cost-optimal calculation" (Art. 15(4), 2nd sub-paragraph).

When the Directive was approved, we pointed out the advantages for building owners, tenants and managers:

  • stopping member states from imposing charges or fees on renewables self-consumers (Art. 21(3))
  • obliging member states to ensure that customers of inefficient district heating can disconnect so as to produce their heating and cooling from renewable sources themselves (Art. 24(7))

Analysis of the specific renewables targets for residential and commercial buildings under epf20-58 of 07.08.2020