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07 September 2022

The European Climate Change Act sets ambitious decarbonisation targets for the European Union (EU): By 2050, the EU is to become climate neutral. The priority target is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55 % compared to the reference year 1990. Achieving this target requires fundamental changes to the way we generate and consume energy in the future.

The European Green Deal contains a vision of the European Commission on how we can achieve the set climate protection targets. As part of the implementation of the Green Deal, the European Commission is working on a comprehensive legislative package (Fit for 55 Package), because only with the right legal framework can a successful energy transition be possible.

On 18 May 2022 the European Commission published the RE PowerEU Plan which is an immediate reaction of EU energy policy makers to the energy market disruption caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine. It aims to end the EU's dependence on Russian fossil fuels. Based on this plan, the Fit-for-55 Package will likely be revised once again to tighten targets and accelerate implementation.

This particularly concerns the Renewable Energy Directive II (RED II) which will provide for (even) more ambitious renewable energy (RE) targets. Moreover, it will introduce binding reduction targets for the industrial sector, consumption targets for green hydrogen, amended sustainability criteria and the promotion of renewable PPAs, as well as an increased role for certificates of origin.

These developments at EU level will certainly result in a further immediate (and mid-term) boost for development of renewable energy projects and related financing in the CEE region. This is confirmed by recent developments on the CEE energy markets which have been experiencing an upswing in renewables project finance, especially in wind and photovoltaic.

Against the above outlined background, we take pleasure in providing a CEE-overview in our recently updated Guide: Legal Overview of Renewable Energy in CEE. It analyses current renewable energy support schemes, key project milestones, and financing-risks in the CEE region, and makes it easy to compare countries with each other.

authors: Bernd Rajal, Martin Ebner and Matei Florea