Slovakia faces infringement for a directive on the use of energy from renewable sources

The law will change in response, setting a minimum greenhouse gas savings threshold for biofuels.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: TASR)

Slovakia is changing the law on the support of renewable energy sources at the very last moment. The European Commission has already started an infringement case against Slovakia for failure to transpose a directive promoting the use of energy from renewable sources.

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The commission does not agree that Slovakia has not been able to implement the directive into Slovak legislation in the past three years, the SITA newswire reported.

“The main aim is to reach legislation accordance in Slovakia in the area of renewable energy sources with EU legislation,” the Economy Ministry commented on the amendment, currently in the interdepartmental review procedure.

Greenhouse gas savings threshold

The European directive is part of the EU “Clean Energy for All Europeans” legislation package.

“At the same time, the current wording of the Thermal Energy Act does not currently comply with new trends or the requirements stemming from EU legislation. The aim of the proposed legislation is to eliminate this discrepancy,” the ministry added.

The proposed legislation will support the development of renewable energy technologies. Determining the goals will provide investors with certainty, the ministry assumes.

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The transposition of the European directive into Slovak legislation increases the minimum threshold for greenhouse gas savings for biofuels, bioliquids and biogas in transport produced in new facilities. The aim is to improve their overall greenhouse gas balance.

The new legislation will establish a new legal framework for issuing guarantees of origin for gas from renewable sources.

"This will create a united means of proving the origin of gas from renewable sources to end customers, which will facilitate cross-border trade in such gas," the ministry said.

Amendment will affect fuel suppliers

The amendment to the Renewable Energy Sources Act will also allow the issuance of a guarantee of origin for a gas other than biomethane.

"The current basic principles of granting support will continue to apply after the transposition of the Directive. However, the changes will help with Slovakia's commitment to meet European goals in the field of electricity production from renewable energy sources and achieving carbon neutrality," states the ministry.

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The amendment will mostly affect transport fuel suppliers, biofuel producers, electricity producers and biomass heat producers.

The aim is to transpose the directive of the European Parliament and the Council of the EU from December 2018 on promoting the use of energy from renewable sources. In connection with the transposition of the said directive, sustainability criteria and required greenhouse gas savings are set for biomass fuels used in the electricity generation and heating sector. The purpose is to ensure the high savings of these emissions compared to fossil fuel alternatives, the ministry added.

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