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The good and bad news for shipping from Brussels’ recent clean energy vote

Last week the European Parliament agreed proposals to boost energy efficiency by 35%,  and to increase the share of renewables in the total energy mix of the bloc by 35% in 2030.

The bad news for shipping is the vote also included a ban on using palm oil, and other vegetable oils seen as being responsible for deforestation, but also pushed further support to find renewable energy models for shipping, specifically wind and solar. By pushing for 35% of of the bloc’s energy supply to come from renewables within 12 years, the vote will also push the emphasis on other ocean industries, notably offshore windpower, and the fledgling wave and tidal power industries that are seen as a part of the future energy mix.

The regulation also points to promotion of indigenous renewable resources, and avoiding  “distortive situations resulting in extensive import of resources from third countries”

The details are contained in Brussels’ clean energy package where it says that 12% of the energy used in transport should be from renewables by 2030, although this will be achieved mostly in road and rail transportation.

Member states are being told to set their own national targets, which will be monitored and should be achieved within the EU rules laid out in the package. While individual member state targets are for each sate to determine, the new regulation states that it should “be done with due regard to a fair and adequate allocation, taking account of Member States’ GDP and the different starting points and potentials, including the level of energy from renewable sources to be reached by 2020.”

The belief is also that the establishment of an EU binding renewable energy target for 2030 would continue to encourage the development of technologies which generate renewable energy and provide certainty for investors, indicating the belief that the private sector wil become a significant driver of the renewable development..

“Energy efficiency and energy saving policies are some of the most effective methods by which Member States can increase the share of renewable energy in their economy. Fuel efficiency and modal shift should be prioritised in the transport sector, together with full incorporation of external costs into fuel prices. Advanced biofuels are expected to have an important role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions of aviation, and therefore the incorporation obligation should also be met specifically in relation to fuels supplied to aviation. Policies should be developed at Union and Member States level to encourage operational measures to save fuels in shipping, along with research and development efforts to increase wind and solar powered marine transport.


About Author

Craig Eason Stockholm
Craig Eason is the owner and editorial director of Fathom.World. He has a background in the shipping industry having started his career as a cadet on oil tankers and gas carriers before becoming a navigating officer on a range of vessel types. A change in career, with ensuing university studies, and he has now gained 20 years experience in written and broadcast journalism. He now is in demand as a knowledgeable and competent editor and event host and moderator, both for in-house events and ones for the public.