September Developments in the Transport Sector
The development of the Fit for 55 & REPowerEU packages continues, impacting all sectors including transport. The Parliament provided its position on the revision of the Renewable Energy Directive and its position on the revision of the Energy Efficiency Directive. Proposed amendments adopt the REPowerEU target of meeting at least 45% of final energy consumption in 2030 from renewable sources. There are also targets for renewable power uptake in transport. Provisions aim to facilitate charge point operators contributing to renewable obligations on fuel suppliers, to manage recharging operations in such a way that they make optimum use of renewable energy and to facilitate smart and bidirectional charging. Proposed efficiency targets are higher than REPowerEU levels: 40% (final) and 42.5% (primary) energy consumption reductions in 2030 compared to 2007. Informal trialogue negotiations on final texts now take place.
State aid clearance was given for a second PCI status for hydrogen projects, some of which involve the construction of large-scale infrastructure for production, storage and transport of renewable and low-carbon hydrogen, and others which develop technologies to reduce emissions in industries such as cement, steel and glass sectors.
The Commission launched a call for proposals under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) for Transport, which makes available over €5 billion for European transport infrastructure projects. The funding is intended to support projects across all EU Member States along the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) and the closing date is 18 January 2023. The Commission also announced support for 24 recently selected projects.
The EEA reported that CO2 emissions from new cars registered in Europe decreased by 12% in 2020 compared to 2019, described as the greatest annual decrease since CO2 standards began to apply in 2010. On the aviation front, a list of initial members of the Alliance for Zero-Emission Aviation was published. Members commit to prepare for zero emission aviation through, for example, hydrogen and electric aircraft.
In Ireland, the Government’s Budget 2023 included continuing funding allocations for the public transport fleet, regional development and rail enhancements. The Metrolink project took a step forward with submission of a planning permission application from Transport Infrastructure Ireland to An Bord Pleanála.
As required under the Climate Action & Low Carbon Development Acts, the Government published the Annual Transition Statement. It is intended to capture mitigation & adaptation policies, current & projected emissions, and compliance with EU & international law. It contains updates on several sectors including transport.