Fifty shades of binding: Appraising the enforcement toolkit for the EU’s 2030 renewable energy targets

A Special Issue Article

Open access published in: RECIEL 2020, 00:1–11

Authors: Alessandro Monti and Beatriz Martinez Romera

In December 2018, the European Union (EU) adopted a recast of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED II), which introduces a new target of 32 percent renewable energy to be reached at the EU level by 2030. This target represents a discontinuity with the one enshrined in the previous Directive (RED I), as it is binding only for the EU as a whole but not for individual Member States. Such a policy shift paves the way to new legal challenges for the deployment of renewable energy. Yet, the contextual approval of the Regulation on the Governance of the Energy Union also provides the European Commission with an enforcement toolkit to respond to Member States’ ambition and delivery gaps in their National Energy and Climate Plans. Providing an appraisal of the RED II and the Governance Regulation, this article argues that, despite the lack of binding renewable energy targets at Member State level, the Commission is equipped with the necessary instruments to ensure the enforcement of the collective 2030 renewable energy target.

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