Current situation on renewable energy sources in the transport sector in the Energy Community
In 2011, the European Commission adopted a Roadmap of 40 concrete initiatives for the next decade to build a competitive transport system that will increase mobility, remove major barriers in key areas and boost growth and employment. At the same time, the proposals will dramatically reduce Europe’s dependence on oil imports and cut transport carbon emissions by 60 percent by 2050.
By 2050, key goals will include:
- No more conventional fuel cars in cities
- 40% use of sustainable low-carbon fuels in aviation – at least 40% reduction in transport emissions
- 50% shift of medium-distance intercity passenger and freight journeys from road to rail and water transport
- All this will contribute to the reduction of transport emissions by 60% by the middle of the century.
The use of renewable energy sources is a key element of energy policy, reducing dependence on imported fuel, reducing emissions from fossil sources and reducing energy costs from oil prices. Directive 2009/28/EC on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources established the accounting criteria for the 2020 renewable energy targets. In 2017, renewable energy sources accounted for 17.5% of the EU’s gross final energy consumption, and eleven member states have already achieved their 2020 targets. The EU’s goal is to obtain 20% of energy in gross final energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020 and at least 32% by 2030. The Contracting Parties of the Energy Community are obliged to achieve binding targets for renewable energy in gross final energy consumption by 2020, while currently their current share in transport is around 1%, mainly reflecting the use of renewable electricity in public transport.
According to the latest statistical data presented by the Secretariat in the Coordination Group for Renewable Energy on November 12, it is unlikely that Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Ukraine will meet the targets of renewable sources for 2020, while the situation in Albania, Kosovo* and North Macedonia still questionable due to the impact of hydrology, low investments in renewable energy sources or increased energy consumption. Given the 10% renewable energy target for the transport sector, no contracting party will meet the target, with the current share at or close to 0%.
Among the contracting parties, Albania, FYR Macedonia and Ukraine report on the application of biofuels in the transport sector in their Third Progress Reports on the Promotion of Renewable Energy for the year. In addition, interested parties from Montenegro and Serbia reported the production and/or consumption of biofuels. In other KPs, production and consumption are either zero or limited only to self-consumption, mostly at the farmer level, and are therefore considered zero.
RES in the Energy Community of the contracting party
No progress has been made for RES in transport in the past and without the establishment of effective policy measures this can hardly be expected to change in the future. Therefore, for RES in transport, and here especially for biofuels, we do not expect a (significant) contribution until 2020 in any of the CPs.
The establishment of a comprehensive legislative and regulatory framework for biofuels will be essential in order to establish the conditions for their introduction and subsequent contribution to the biofuel targets established under the RED.
A brief description of the current situation for each contracting party
Albania: The share of final energy from renewable sources consumed in transport in 2017 was 13.4%, mainly biodiesel. Without the adoption of a sustainability regime and the establishment of a certification scheme, the actual production and consumption of biofuels in the country cannot be accounted for in the transport target. According to the 2016-2017 Renewables Progress Report, some measures regarding primary legislation on the use of biofuels and sustainability criteria are ongoing.
Bosnia and Herzegovina: The share of final energy from renewable sources consumed in transport in 2017 was less than 1%, mainly electricity from RES in rail transport and far below the planned path of the National Action Plan for renewable energy. The estimated total support in the transport sector on an annual basis is currently EUR 0.
Georgia: NREAP has been approved by the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development. Sustainability criteria for biofuels and bioliquids have not yet been adopted. The NREAP includes measures for the transport sector, and the draft law defines the overall principles and responsibilities regarding the promotion of biofuels.
Kosovo: RES are not spent in the transport sector and there is no financial support. There is no defined certification scheme nor has a relevant body been established to implement sustainability criteria for biofuels and bioliquids.
Moldova: The Energy Efficiency Agency has been appointed as a certification body, including voluntary programs. The share of renewable energy in the transport sector is 0.03%, which is quite far from the NREAP obligations.
Montenegro: The share of final energy from renewable sources consumed in transport in 2017 was less than 1%. The government adopted three by-laws on biofuels, but the actual implementation of these regulations is still a long way off in practice, considering that financial support and mechanisms are not foreseen at all. Montenegro is the only Balkan country that has not adopted the RES Progress Report for 2016-2017, although the draft was prepared 6 months ago.
North Macedonia: RES are not consumed in the transport sector and there is no financial support. The legal framework misses the transposition and implementation of sustainability criteria for biofuels and bioliquids. Most biofuels currently produced in the country are exported.
Serbia: Sustainability criteria for biofuels have not been adopted. The share of energy from renewable sources in the transport sector was 1.2% in 2017, mainly from renewable electricity used in transport.
Ukraine: The share of final energy from renewable sources consumed in transport in 2017 was about 1%. Amendments to the Alternative Fuels Act cover the main principles of Articles 17 to 21 of Directive 2009/28/EC. However, their adoption has been pending in the Parliament for more than a year, and only additional by-laws, once in force, will ensure compliance with the mandatory acquis of the EU.
It is obvious that without real political will and concrete activities to introduce incentives, promotional campaigns or a relevant certification scheme for biofuels in most CPs, the goals set by EU directives will hardly be achieved, not only by CPs but also by EU member states.
On the other hand, the wider use of electric vehicles (e-vehicles) is one of the solutions to reduce the problem of CO2 emissions. E-mobility is a field that is developing at a fast pace and is closely related to the development of technology and its future is definitely coming.
With all this in mind, the EU and the Energy Community should consider revising the policy and legislative framework in the future when it comes to biofuels in the transport sector.