IATE Term of the Week: Renewable Energy Directive


The Renewable Energy Directive also referred to as RED is a legal program created in 2008 by the European Commission. The main aim of this initiative is to set up legal measures to reduce CO2 emissions in all of the countries of the European Union by increasing the use of renewable energy in all of the EU economies. The first measures, taken in 2009 were consistent with the clean energy transformation at the time. The goal was to use renewable energy up to 20% by 2020.

Renewable Energy Directive 1 IATE
Renewable Energy Directive 2 IATE

In 2018, the European Commission drafted a revision of the Renewable Energy Directive. Called RED II, it was created to regulate the targets between 2021 and 2030 and to focus on new challenges at the European Union scale. One of the new goal is to reach climate neutrality by 2050. Moreover, the Commission decided to set up the goal to 32% for the use of renewable energy by 2030 and up to 14% for the transportation sector. The Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) topic is also one of the top priorities of the RED II since it also affects the agricultural world. This new program should also include more the citizens, the consumers and the businesses by giving them more powers and could be revised in 2023, if necessary, to make sure all of the goals are coherent and match with the other decisions taken by the European Union institutions. The proposed revision should be approved by the Council and the European Parliament, by the end of 2022.

Among the use of renewable energies, other topics regarding climate change are discussed such as public and private transport as well as heating and cooling of the public areas. Measures taken in the context of the Renewable Energy Directive should be integrated to European law so that it can take effect in all of the member countries.

In the last few years, the whole European Union increased its climate ambitions since the threat of the environmental issues is increasing as well and it becomes more and more urgent to implement strong and efficient measures. Initiatives like the Renewable Energy Directive must be constantly changed in order to be adapted to the new challenges and to respond the best possible to the global environment threat. Common rules are set inside of the European Union to make sure that every European country would go on the same path and would work towards the same goal.

Since its creation in 2008, the Renewable Energy Directive evolved a lot along with the clean energy transformation goals set by all of the institutions of the European Union. The revision of 2018 is setting new goals for the years to come although these measures could be revised more regularly in the next few months.

In 2019, The European Commission proposed to raise the goal up to 40% for the use of renewable energy by 2030 and in 2022, to raise it again up to 45%.


Energy. 2022. Renewable energy – directive, targets and rules. [ONLINE] Available at: https://energy.ec.europa.eu/topics/renewable-energy/renewable-energy-directive-targets-and-rules_en. [Accessed 22 July 2022].

EU Science Hub. 2022. Renewable Energy – Recast to 2030 (RED II). [ONLINE] Available at:https://joint-research-centre.ec.europa.eu/welcome-jec-website/reference-regulatory-framework/renewable-energy-recast-2030-red-ii_en. [Accessed 22 July 2022].

Renewable Energy Directive (RED) – European Panel Federation. 2022. Renewable Energy Directive (RED) – European Panel Federation. [ONLINE] Available at: https://europanels.org/european-policy-developments/climate-energy/renewable-energy-directive-recast-red-ii/. [Accessed 22 July 2022].

ScienceDirect. 2022. Renewable Energy Directive. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/renewable-energy-directive. [Accessed 22 July 2022].

Written by Cécile Mayeres

She holds a Master’s degree in Translation and Cross-Cultural Communication with a specialization in European mobility. She now does a traineeship in Communication at the Terminology Coordination Unit.