23 Dec

After a three-round debate, the Council approved a political agreement on the market correction mechanism, which will be adopted in a written procedure starting on 22 December.

Hungary was not in a position to vote for the adoption of the mechanism, with the Netherlands and Austria abstaining. Germany, Denmark and Luxembourg voted in favour following a political decision. At Germany's request, the presidency opened a proposal for a regulation under article 122 TFEU on a framework for the acceleration of the deployment of renewable energy, despite the fact that the text had been frozen at the Council on 24 November. Germany proposed further amendments to facilitate the authorisation of grid infrastructure for renewable energy projects in exchange for the adoption of the market correction mechanism. Political agreement was reached on the proposed changes and the Council decided to submit it to the written procedure. Hungary indicated that it would abstain from voting.

The Council then adopted a general approach on a draft regulation on the reduction of methane emissions and took note of a progress report on the directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the internal market in renewable gases, natural gas and hydrogen and a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the internal market in renewable gases, natural gas and hydrogen.

The Council adopted a general approach on the proposal for a REPowerEU directive that brings targeted amendments to EU legislation on renewable energy. Member states will design dedicated ‘go-to areas' for renewables with shortened and simplified permitting processes in areas with lower environmental risks. The Council confirmed the target of the share of energy from renewable sources in the Union’s gross final consumption of energy, of at least 40% in 2030. Hungary supported the agreement.

Under any other business, the presidency provided information on current legislative proposals, including the revision of the energy efficiency directive and the renewable energy directive, that are currently being negotiated in trilogues between the Council and the European Parliament. The presidency debriefed ministers on the SET Plan Conference and the European Nuclear Energy Forum.

The Commission informed ministers about the on going work ont he revision of the electricity market design. The Commission also gave information on recent developments in the field of external energy relations. Sweden presented the work programme of its incoming presidency.