EU urged to keep ‘low-carbon fuels’ out of renewable energy mix

(EurActiv, 6 Apr 2021) A group of 88 lawmakers in the European Parliament have joined environmental NGOs and the renewable energy industry to demand the exclusion of low-carbon fossil fuels from the upcoming revision of the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive.

The European Commission’s intention to broaden the scope of the directive beyond renewables “is counter-productive and risks promoting the very fossil fuels that renewables should be displacing in Europe’s energy system,” says a letter sent to the European Commission on Wednesday (31 March).

“Non-renewable and low-carbon fuels, including so-called ‘low carbon’ fossil fuels, should not be included in any provision under the Renewable Energy Directive nor should they count towards the EU’s binding 2030 renewable energy target,” the letter states.

Low-carbon fossil fuels include hydrogen made from natural gas steam reforming, coupled with carbon storage technology to bury the emissions underground.

The missive was signed by a group of 116 lawmakers, environmental groups, business associations, and energy utilities, including Italy’s Enel and Spain’s Iberdrola.

The initiative is supported by 88 MEPs mostly hailing from the Greens, leftists and Social Democrat (S&D) political factions in the European Parliament as well as the centrist Renew Europe group.