At their  June 11, 2018 EU Transport and Energy  Council meeting Member States welcomed the Energy program of the upcoming Austrian EU presidency starting July 1, 2018. Austria will focus on the electricity market design and stated that it is ” is especially interested in innovative energy technologies, and it will put renewable hydrogen (!), storage technologies and the role of energy intensive industry for the energy transition on the agenda of the informal meeting in Linz on 17 and 18 September 2018. The 11th SET Plan conference on 20 and 21 November 2018 in Vienna shall therefor be dedicated to innovative energy technologies and focus on the following topics:
– Smart and resilient cities and buildings
– Sustainable energy systems (renewables and storage)
– Energy efficiency in industry
– Joint projects for achieving the EU-2030 targets and the potential of the new European financing platform for renewables

Member State  at the same meeting  at last have reached consensus on the definition of a “clean” vehicle in the realm of the recast of the Clean Vehicle Directive:  a large number of delegations at the May 25, 2018 COREPER meeting emphasised that a harmonised EU-level approach towards the deployment of alternative fuels should be followed and questioned whether the proposal was consistent with other existing legislation on alternative fuels, in particular with the Action Plan on alternative fuels1 and the alternative fuels infrastructure Directive (2014/94/EU )2. Some considered that the proposed, more restrictive definition could jeopardise national public procurement plans already in progress in some Member
States while others would prefer a stricter definition of a ‘clean vehicle’ with a focus on zero emissions.

As business and public authorities become increasingly impatient with EU’s  level of ambition in order to keep global warming “well below 2°C”, as a letter to EU leaders sent on  June 12, 2018  by the “Coalition for Higher Ambition”  including the Corporate Leaders Group, the Climate Group and the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC), representing over €21 trillion in assets, Member States were also briefed on the status of negotiations with the EU Parliament on the recast of the renewable and energy efficiciency directives:

– At the last informal trilogue held on 30 May, the EP deviated from its initial position (i.e. a 35% EU binding target) and proposed either a 34% EU non-binding target or a 32% EU binding target: none of these two proposals was accepted by the Presidency.

– At the fourth informal trilogue meeting, the Parliament indicated for the first time its flexibility on key political issues. on the EU-wide renewable energy (RES) target, the initial positions of Council and Parliament are 27% and 35% respectively.

– The EP insists on a general exemption from any charges or fees when consuming self-generated renewable electricity (‘behind the meter’) and proposed not to consider self-consumers as electricity suppliers according to Union or national legislation for RES electricity they feed into the grid, below 10 MWh for households and 500 MWh for legal persons annually. On the other hand,
Parliament agreed to treat individual and collective self-consumption differently.

– For the level of the transport sub-target, and respective multipliers, the Presidency makes also this issue conditional on the EU-wide RES target. In the most recent trilogue meeting Parliament expressed support for multipliers on road, aviation and maritime transport, while speaking out strongly against double counting of conventional biofuels (especially concerning part B of Annex IX)