Sustainable Electricity Sources. Renewable fuels of non-biological origin in the RED II


In defining sustainability criteria for the use of electricity sources in powerfuels production, the European Union’s revised Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) is one of the first regulations to provide wide-ranging definitions for renewable fuels of non-biological origin (RFNBOs) in the transport sector and as such is a landmark in the global development of powerfuels. As laid out in Article 27, power sources for the production of RFNBOs are subject to four criteria (renewability, temporal correlation, geographical correlation and additionality), the exact definition of which is still pending. With this analysis and position paper, we would like develop a better understanding of these criteria and present our proposal for their elaboration and implementation.

This paper also calls on policymakers for a timely and feasible implementation, which will enable market development instead of restricting it. Time is particularly pressing, as clarity regarding regulatory conditions is a prerequisite for investors and producers alike to be able to take the necessary next steps that will carry the market development of powerfuels forward. The elaboration of sustainability criteria in the RED II also has the potential of serving as a blueprint for future regulations in other markets, regions and sectors, which highlights the significance of this regulation beyond the transport sector and the EU. Keeping in mind that the EU is likely to play the role of a lead market for powerfuels, it will be paramount  to choose rules with a universal appeal and validity which are  globally enforceable and can be transparently audited.