The European Parliament is planning to vote on a revised Renewable Energy Directive next February. About 1,300 amendments had been submitted until July 2017 related to the first draft of the revised directive from November 2016 (see attached document). The amendments are currently discussed by the members of the ITRE (Industry, Research and Energy) Committee. The main task of José Blanco López (see photo), a Spanish ITRE member and the rapporteur of the Directive draft, is to reach an agreement on the so-called compromise amendments. They are to represent the shared view of the committee, so that the directive can secure enough support in parliament. Its members are scheduled to vote on these ITRE amendments on 28 November and the solar thermal industry is looking to ensure that the solar thermal sector isn’t being left out of the loop.
The second attached document contains all commission amendments and alternative proposals by López. The most important change to heating and cooling regulations can be found in Article 23, which will require member states to increase their renewable share in the thermal sector by 1 % each year (see p. 40, amendment 68). The chart below was created by the European Geothermal Energy Council and shows that recent developments (2004 to 2014) have made the growth target in renewable heat production seem less ambitious than it should have been. Some EU countries had already exceeded the 1 % threshold during the previous period.