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27/2019 – 12 February 2019
Renewable energy in the EU

Share of renewable energy in the EU up to 17.5% in 2017 Eleven Member States already achieved their 2020 targets

In 2017, the share of energy from renewable sources in gross final consumption of energy, in the European Union (EU), reached 17.5%, up from 17.0% in 2016 and more than double the share in 2004 (8.5%), the first year for which the data are available.

The share of renewables in gross final consumption of energy is one of the headline indicators of the Europe 2020 strategy. The EU’s target is to obtain 20% of energy in gross final consumption of energy from renewable sources by 2020 and at least 32% by 2030.

These figures come from an article issued by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

Highest share of renewables in Sweden, lowest in Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Malta

Since 2004, the share of renewable sources in gross final consumption of energy grew significantly in all Member States. Compared with 2016, it has increased in 19 of the 28 Member States.

With more than half (54.5%) of its energy coming from renewable sources in its gross final consumption of energy, Sweden had by far the highest share in 2017, ahead of Finland (41.0%), Latvia (39.0%), Denmark (35.8%) and Austria (32.6%) At the opposite end of the scale, the lowest proportions of renewables were registered in Luxembourg (6.4%), the Netherlands (6.6%) and Malta (7.2%).

The Netherlands and France: furthest away from their goals

Each EU Member State has its own Europe 2020 target. The national targets take into account the Member States’ different starting points, renewable energy potential and economic performance. Among the 28 EU Member States, 11 have already reached the level required to meet their national 2020 targets: Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Croatia, Italy, Lithuania, Hungary, Romania, Finland and Sweden. Moreover, Latvia and Austria are around 1 percentage point (pp) away from theirs 2020 targets. At the opposite end of the scale, the Netherlands (7.4 pp from its national 2020 objective), France (6.7 pp), Ireland (5.3 pp), the United Kingdom (4.8 pp), Luxembourg (4.6 pp), Poland (4.1 pp) and Belgium (3.9 pp) are the furthest away from their targets.

Geographical information

The European Union (EU) includes Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

In this News Release, data are also available for Albania, Montenegro, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey and Kosovo, under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244/99.

Methods and definitions

Renewable energy sources cover solar thermal and photovoltaic energy, hydro (including tide, wave and ocean energy), wind, geothermal energy and all forms of biomass (including biological waste and liquid biofuels). The contribution of renewable energy from heat pumps is also covered for the Member States for which this information was reported. The renewable energy delivered to final consumers (industry, transport, households, services including public services, agriculture, forestry and fisheries) is the numerator of this indicator. The denominator, the gross final energy consumption of all energy sources, covers total energy delivered for energy purposes to final consumers as well as the transmission and distribution losses for electricity and heat. It should be noted that exports/imports of electricity are not considered as renewable energy unless a specific intergovernmental agreement has been signed (currently only between Sweden and Norway).

The national shares of energy from renewable sources in gross final consumption of energy are calculated according to specific calculation provisions of Directive 2009/28/EC on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources and Commission Decision 2013/114/EU establishing the guidelines for Member States on calculating renewable energy from heat pumps from different heat pump technologies. Electricity production from hydro power and wind power is accounted according to normalisation rules of Annex II of Directive 2009/28/EC. For data as of 2011, only biofuels and bioliquids declared by countries as compliant with criteria of sustainability as defined in Articles 17 and 18 of Directive 2009/28/EC are accounted towards the share of energy from renewable sources. Adjustments of energy consumption in aviation are applied for all countries according to Article 5(6). Statistical transfers and joint projects (Articles 6-11) reported to Eurostat are also considered in the presented data. More details on the calculation methodology applied by Eurostat can be found in the SHARES tool manual.

For more information

Eurostat website section on energy statistics. http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/energy/overview

Eurostat database on energy. http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/energy/data/database

Eurostat “SHARES 2017 results” including detailed Member States’ data and information on the indicative trajectories. http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/energy/data/shares

Eurostat Statistics Explained article on renewable energy statistics. http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Renewable_energy_statistics

European Commission website section dedicated to renewable energy and strategies for 2020 and 2030 http://ec.europa.eu/energy/en/topics/renewable-energyhttps://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/documents/2995521/9571695/8-12022019-AP-EN.pdf/b7d237c1-ccea-4adc-a0ba-45e13602b428

The EU was and maybe still is importing trees from the United States and calling it renewable energy. Technically this may be true, but it is only renewable after many years and is unacceptable.

Forests soak up 10% of greenhouse gas emissions in the EU, 20/03/2017 https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/en/web/products-eurostat-news/-/EDN-20170320-1

Click to access 2014_biomass_forest_research_report_.pdf