Renewable Energy Supply –Electricity (RES-E)
The main means of supporting renewables at a European Union (EU) level is through the Directive on the Promotion of Electricity from Renewable Energy Sources in the Internal Electricity Market (2001/77/EC), also referred to as the Renewables Directive. This Directive requires each Member State to commit to specific targets for renewable energy production. The Directive follows on from the European Union White Paper, ‘Energy for the Future: Renewable Sources of Energy’, which was published in November 1997.
Under the RES-E Directive, Member States are required to adopt national targets for renewables that are consistent with reaching the Commission’s target of 22 per cent of electricity produced from renewable energy sources by 2010. The indicative target set for Ireland under the Directive is 13.2 per cent. The Irish Government in 2006 announced that it was increasing this national target to 15 per cent. Separate to the Directive, a further national target of 33 per cent has been set to be achieved by 2020.
Directive 2001/77/EC on the promotion of electricity produced from renewable energy sources in the internal electricity market
The main means of supporting biofuels at an EU level is through the Directive on the promotion of the use of biofuels or other renewable fuels for transport (2003/30/EC), also referred to as the Biofuels Directive. This Directive requires each Member State to set national indicative targets to ensure that a minimum proportion of biofuels is placed on their markets.
The EC Directive proposes reference values, calculated on the basis of energy content, of 2% by 31 December 2005 and 5.75% by 31 December 2010. The Irish Government in 2006 announced that it aims to achieve a 2% market penetration of biofuels by 2008.
Directive 2003/30/EC on the promotion of the use of biofuels or other renewable fuels for transport
One of the main means of addressing climate change at an EU level is through the Directive establishing a scheme for greenhouse gas emission trading within the Community (2003/87/EC), also referred to as the Emissions Trading Directive. This Directive requires each Member State to set an emissions cap for each installation involved under the scheme. Annex I of the Directive lists those activities that are to be included. The number of allowances allocated to each installation must be set down in the National Allocation Plan (NAP) for the period in question. This NAP must be approved by the European Commission.
The EU emissions trading scheme (EU ETS) came into operation on 1 January 2005. Each installation is required to monitor its emissions and report the total emissions on an annual basis. The installation is then required to surrender allowances (one allowance = one tonne of carbon dioxide), equal to its reported emissions each year. If installations cannot reduce their emissions to the level of this allocation during the course of the year then extra allowances must be purchased or else a penalty fine will be imposed.
Directive 2003/87/EC establishing a scheme for greenhouse gas emission trading within the Community
Energy Performance of Buildings
The main means of promoting an improvement in the energy performance of buildings at an EU level is through the Directive on the Energy Performance of Buildings (2002/91/EC), also referred to as the EPBD. This Directive requires specific forms of information and advice on energy to be provided to building purchasers, tenants and users. The intention is that this information and advice will help consumers to make more informed decisions leading to practical actions to improve energy performance.
As part of the Directive, a Building Energy Rating (BER) certificate, which is effectively an energy label, will be required at the point of sale or rental of a building, or on completion of a new building. The BER will be accompanied by an "Advisory Report" setting out recommendations for cost-effective improvements to the energy performance of the building.
There is a specific requirement for Member States to ensure that for new buildings, account is taken of the feasibility for renewable or alternative energy systems before construction commences.
Directive 2002/91/EC on the Energy Performance of Buildings
Energy Services Directive
The main means of promoting an improvement in energy efficiency at an EU level is through the Directive on Energy End-Use Efficiency and Energy Services (2006/32/EC), also referred to as the ESD. The purpose of the Directive is to enhance the cost-effective improvement of energy end-use efficiency in the member states by:
• providing the necessary indicative targets and mechanisms, incentives and institutional, financial as well as legal frameworks to remove existing market barriers and address imperfections that impede the efficient end-use of energy;
• creating the conditions for the development and promotion of a market for energy services and for the delivery of other energy efficiency improvement measures to final consumers.
The Directive requires the establishment of an indicative target of 9% improvement in energy efficiency by 2016, an action plan to achieve the target including a range of actions by different stakeholders (by June 2007), and monitoring and reporting progress towards the target (from January 2008).
Directive on Energy End Use Efficiency and Energy Services
Combined Heat and Power
The main means of supporting combined heat and power (CHP) at an EU level is through the Directive on the promotion of cogeneration based on a useful heat demand in the internal energy market (2004/8/EC), also referred to as the CHP Directive. The purpose of the Directive is to increase energy efficiency and improve security of supply within the EU, by creating a framework for promotion and development of high-efficiency CHP based on useful heat demand and primary energy savings in the internal energy market.
The Directive includes the following main provisions:
• Adopt the EU definition for high-efficiency CHP;
• Introduce a mechanism to guarantee the origin of electricity from high-efficiency CHP;
• Ensure support schemes for CHP are compliant;
• Ensure electricity tariffs and conditions for grid access are fair;
• Commit to analyse national potentials for CHP, identify the barriers which may prevent the realisation of the national potential and report progress towards achieving that potential.
Directive 2004/8/EC on the promotion of cogeneration based on a useful heat demand in the internal energy market