EC Sues Renewables Laggards

European Commission To Drag Croatia, Hungary & Portugal To EU Court of Justice For Not Legislating Bloc’s Renewable Energy Directive
Fearing derailment of its climate goals with non-compliance of Croatia, Hungary and Portugal regarding its Renewable Energy Directive, the European Commission will be taking them to the court. (Illustrative Photo; Photo Credit: artjazz/Shutterstock.com)
Fearing derailment of its climate goals with non-compliance of Croatia, Hungary and Portugal regarding its Renewable Energy Directive, the European Commission will be taking them to the court. (Illustrative Photo; Photo Credit: artjazz/Shutterstock.com)
  • EC is taking Croatia, Hungary and Portugal to the EU Court of Justice for not promoting renewable energy in their countries
  • It says these nations have not been able to legislate the bloc's Renewable Energy Directive
  • These 3 countries are the only EU member states to have failed to notify satisfactorily if they have transposed each provision of the directive

The European Commission (EC) will refer 3 member states of Croatia, Hungary and Portugal to the Court of Justice of the European Union for failing to legislate the bloc's Renewable Energy Directive that provides legal framework for renewable energy development to reduce GHG emissions.

Revised in 2018 and legally binding since 2021 , the so-called RED II directive sets EU-level binding target for 2030 to ensure at least 32% renewable energy and provides for support for these power generation sources to increase their share in electricity, heating and cooling and transport sectors. In further proposals for revisions of the directive, the EC has recommended to increase the 32% renewables 2030 target – in July 2021, it first recommended a new goal of 40% as part of its Green Deal; and later, in May 2022, it suggested 45% in its REPower EU program to get independent from Russian gas (see EU One Step Closer To 45% Renewables Target For 2030).

Members not complying with EU legislation can be dragged to the EU court, which is what the commission has decided to do to the 3 respective member states.

According to the EC, the 3 countries were required to transpose to the directive by June 30, 2021 with continuous support from the commission. It says these nations have so far failed to notify appropriately whether they have transposed each provision of the directive in their national legislation.

"To date Croatia, Hungary and Portugal are the only three Member States who have failed to notify any correlation table or explanatory document specifying where they have transposed each provision of the Directive. Therefore, the Commission is referring these Member States to the Court of Justice of the European Union," it added.

Neither Croatia, Portugal or Hungary are on the forefront of solar in the European Union.  In response to strong demand for rooftop solar, last summer, the Hungarian government suspended the possibility for new solar installations to feed their electricity into the grid, which resulted in SolarPower Europe tagging the country one of only three EU markets with 'cloudy policy support prospects' for solar in its EU Market Outlook 2022-2026.

The EU is targeting to deploy 600 GW AC of solar power capacity by 2030 in a bid to become energy self-sufficient and reduce its carbon emissions. It is also getting ready to support clean energy technologies through a Green Deal Industrial Plan. Any country failing to ensure a stable policy environment to support the targets can derail the bloc's climate goals (see EU Promises Green Deal Industrial Plan For Clean Technology).

More about the EU's Renewable Energy Directive is available on the commission's website.

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