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       Energy and Environment 11/03/2010
EU renewable energy target 2020

The EU will surpass its target to consume 20 % of its energy from renewable energy by 2020, according to national forecasts submitted to the European Commission. In its summary published on 11 March, the Commission finds that the EU will reach an overall share of 20,3 % renewables.

The summary found that 10 out of 27 EU Member States are likely to exceed their national targets for renewable energy, with a further 12 set to meet their goals domestically. Only five Member States are currently expected not to meet their target with domestic sources only.

According to the Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/EC), those Member States which consider that they cannot reach their targets with domestic resources alone, must either acquire transfers from other Member States or countries outside the EU. As the summary shows, this mechanism will only play a minor role. Only around 2 Mtoe of the total renewable energy needed in 2020, will be traded between Member States or third countries. In percentage terms this amounts to less than 1 %.

The Renewable Energy Directive sets individual national targets according to Member States' capacity to increase their share of renewables. The Directive asked Member States to deliver a report, explaining whether they expect to achieve their targets from domestic renewable energy sources, whether they expect to exceed their targets and have a "surplus" to offer to other Member States through the use of the "cooperation mechanisms" contained in the Directive, or whether they expect to need to "import" renewable energy statistically using the cooperation mechanisms to meet their targets.

The Directive sets an overall EU target of 20% renewables of total energy consumption by 2020 and individual binding national targets. Renewables include biofuels, biomass, wind, solar energy as well as hydro power. The renewable share in 2007 was 9%. Approximately 63% of this is derived from biomass and biowaste.

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