The figures approved by MEPs today are above the 40% proposed by European Union (EU) countries.

In 2018, the Commission proposed to revise the directive and set the new target at 40%, but following the Russian invasion of Ukraine (which began on 24 February), the EU executive strengthened its commitment to invest in renewable energy and suggested increasing this figure to 45%.

The Council, the institution representing the EU countries, set its negotiating position last June at 40%.

The three institutions will now have to negotiate the final legislation, which should be completed by early 2023.

With 418 votes in favour, 109 against and 111 abstentions, MEPs backed the 45% negotiating position with the Council and Commission on the revision of the Renewable Energy Directive, which is part of the comprehensive "Fit for 55" legislative package to reduce CO2 emissions by 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.

Final consumption of renewable energy in the EU was 9.6% in 2004 and 22.1% in 2020.

"Renewable energy is a key part of the solution to escalating prices," said Socialist MP and negotiator of the directive Nicolás González Casares, who called for reducing not only dependence on Russian energy products but also imports from other countries.

Also as part of the package to reduce CO2 emissions by 55% by 2030, MEPs also today (469 votes in favour, 93 against and 82 abstentions) advocated an update of the Energy Efficiency Directive by 2030 to reduce the EU's final energy consumption by 40% by 2030 and primary consumption by 41.5% compared to 2007 levels.

Final consumption is the consumption used by end users, while primary consumption also includes energy used for energy production and supply.

The Council, which represents the Member States, has agreed to reduce final energy consumption by 36% and primary energy consumption by 39%.

A 40% reduction could lead to a reduction of 740 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtep) in final energy consumption and 960 Mtep in primary energy consumption, according to Parliament's calculations.

To achieve these new energy efficiency targets, Member States will have to set binding national targets and devise measures at local, regional, national and European level in different sectors such as public administration, buildings, businesses and data centres.