Tuesday

23rd Jul 2019

EU on track to meet renewable energy target

  • EU countries are increasing their share of energy coming from renewable sources such as wind (Photo: European Community, 2005)

The European Union is to surpass its target of 20 percent consumption of energy from renewable sources by 2020, according to national forecasts submitted to the European Commission.

The EU executive found that overall, the bloc will achieve a 20.3 percent share of renewables in its energy mix.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

According to a summary published on Thursday, 10 out of the EU's 27 member states are on track to exceed their national targets for renewable energy, with a further 12 set to meet their goals using domestic sources of renewable energy.

However, five member states, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Luxembourg and Malta, will have to source their renewable energy from outside their countries.

Europe's renewable energy directive sets an overall EU target of 20 percent and individual binding national targets. The bloc defines biofuels, biomass, wind, solar energy as well as hydro power as being renewable.

In 2007, the most recent year for which there is data available, the renewable share was nine percent, with approximately 63 percent of this coming from biomass and biowaste.

Energy commissioner Gunther Oettinger used the occasion of the release of the figures to challenge member states to go yet further.

"Our task will be to help all member states not only to reach the 20 percent target but to go beyond."

Green groups gave a cautious welcome to the numbers.

Frauke Thies, Greenpeace Europe's energy campaigner, told EUobserver: "Overall, the actions are really encouraging."

"However, Italy seems to rely on lots of imports, so they are failing to realise the development of renewable energy at home," she said, adding: "There may also be some problems coming from the countries where Italy is looking for imports. Some of these involve hydro projects with questionable environmental impacts."

Additionally, Slovakia appears to be focusing mostly on the heating sector, she said, "a move that definitely needs to happen, but it will be a lost opportunity if they do not take a look at the electricity sector."

Across the board, Ms Thies said that it is unclear whether biomass-based energy is being sustainably sourced, as the documents do not provide enough information at this point to make an assessment.

Analysis

EU purchase of US gas serves dual purpose

The EU wants to diversify the sources where it gets its natural gas from - while importing more liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the US could also slightly appease Donald Trump.

Investigation

EU's claim Energy Union now 'a reality' not based on facts

The Juncker commission this week awarded it self top marks on the Energy Union, declaring it "completed". But a detailed analysis reveals the commission quietly stopped reporting on key indicators that would have shown the actual level of progress.

Interview

Why a solar power lobbyist joined a fossil fuel club

James Watson is now secretary general of Eurogas, after more than four years at the helm of SolarPower Europe. "I don't feel there is any inconsistency with what I've done before and what I'm doing now," he tells EUobserver.

Germany bound to apply EU rules to Russia pipeline

Germany will need to make sure EU rules are being followed by Russia's controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, currently under construction, it was decided in negotiations between EU institutions on Tuesday evening.

News in Brief

  1. Johnson set to be announced British PM on Tuesday
  2. UK-based owners of .eu domains could keep name
  3. Weyand: EU would respond to US tariffs on cars
  4. UK foreign office minister quits ahead of Johnson as PM
  5. AKK to boost Bundeswehr budget to Nato target
  6. Police arrest 25 after Polish LGBT-march attack
  7. Ukrainian president's party tops parliament election
  8. EU interior ministers to meet in Paris on migration

Planned German coal exit boosts case for Nord Stream 2

German commission recommends phasing out coal power over the next 19 years - which will provide additional arguments to build the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia, which both the European Commission and the US have reservations about.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  5. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  7. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  8. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  9. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  10. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North

Latest News

  1. Macron: 14 EU states agree on a migration 'mechanism'
  2. As Johnson set to become PM, ministers pledge to resign
  3. Poland's PiS prepares 'failsafe' for October election
  4. Abortion Wars
  5. EU goes on holiday as new UK PM arrives This WEEK
  6. Survey: Half of EU staff 'don't know' ethics rules
  7. Von der Leyen signals soft touch on migrants, rule of law
  8. Timmermans: von der Leyen will be tough on rule of law

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us