Highlights Core Theme 5: RES in Transport

CT5 - 4th Plenary Meeting in Vienna

Headline 1: Progress on the 2020 Renewable Energy Target and an Update on the Revised Renewable Energy Directive

In the first session, CT5 participants were presented with key results from the CT5 survey, including results on the progress made towards the 2020 target of 10% renewable energy in transport. The Commission provided an update on recent policy developments, in particular in relation to the revised Renewable Energy Directive (RED II). The RED II requires Member States to put in place a fuel supplier obligation to ensure that the share of renewable energy in final consumption in the transport sector is at least 14% and that a minimum share of 3.5% advanced biofuels and biogas is reached by 2030. The Directive also gives Member States flexibility to consider or not consider recycled carbon fuels in the obligation. The presentation by DG ENERGY was followed by an in-depth discussion to reach a common understanding of the complex new provisions set out in RED II, as well as a discussion on the need for further harmonization regarding the waste and residues listed in Annex IX part A.

Headline 2: Renewable Electricity, Renewable Fuels of Non-Biological Origin (RFNBOs) and Recycled Carbon Fuels in the Transport Sector

The third session of CT5 continued the discussions on “new fuels”, including renewable electricity, renewable fuels of non-biological origin (RFNBOs) and recycled carbon fuels, started during the 3rd Plenary Meeting in Warsaw. In particular, the participants looked at key challenges in accounting and developing methodologies for these new fuels, including cross-border and cross-sectoral challenges. While RFNBOs are already supported in some Member States, a harmonised EU-wide methodology is still missing. Through two Member States presentations, it was shown what types of challenges Member States face in introducing policies for “new fuels”. A presentation by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) explained the key factors to consider in developing a methodology and demonstrated, for example, how GHG emissions vary widely for the new fuels depending on existing uses of energy.

Core Theme 4 & 5: Biomass Mobilisation & Sustainability and RES in Transport

Headline for the Joint Session: Biomethane in the Transport Sector

This joint session was led by Core Themes (CT) 4 and 5, after previous discussions in CT4 had shown a clear link between biogas mobilisation and transport policies, with many Member States planning to incentivise biomethane use in the transport sector. The CT4 and CT5 joint session consequently explored different aspects of the use of biomethane in the transport sector, cross-sectoral and cross-border challenges that arise in particular from the use of gas grids for the transport of the biomethane. The session started off with a presentation of the CT survey results, which showed that the current use of biomethane is still limited across Member States. While several Member States have started encouraging the use of biomethane in transport, more consideration still needs to be given to various questions as to the design of such support scheme with more specific priorities to be set. This includes, for example, an assessment in which sector biomethane is best used to achieve the highest possible GHG savings, taking the particular situation in each Member State into consideration. A presentation by Ecofys showed that the potential for biomethane production in the Member States could be more than 1000 TWh in the period to 2050 and that its use would have high carbon benefits, reducing costs by up to 40%. However, Member States would need to make a choice in which sectors biomethane should be used for the highest benefits, with use for dispatchable power and industrial applications potentially providing more significant energy system cost reductions in the medium- to long-term than biomethane use in the transport sector (where use in long-distance trucks or container shipping might be promising options though). During the next part of the joint session, a representative of the Austrian Gas Clearing and Settlement AG (ASCG) showed how some national authorities are developing systems to support cross-border trade of biomethane, while also ensuring that the systems are compatible with sustainability certification requirements. The presentation by EUROSTAT looked at the complexity of the accounting challenges with the cross-border trade of biomethane. The EUROSTAT representative stated that the SHARES tool has now been adapted to allocate injection of biomethane to transport at the Member State level, but not yet for cross-border trade. There are still ongoing discussions for adaption of the SHARES tool on trade and other sectors in order to better address cross-border trade. Measures to ensure that biomethane does not receive double subsidies and its use in the transport sector is additional are necessary. For this purpose, information on support schemes has to be provided along the chain of custody.

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