The EU has a projected share of 15.3% of renewable energy in its final consumption figures for 2014, putting the bloc on track to meet its 2020 target of 20% despite three nations missing interim goals, the European Commission said in a progress report on Tuesday.
Alongside binding greenhouse gas targets, the EU has a legally-binding renewables target for 2020 but has proposed a looser governance system for member states to meet an overall goal to deliver at least 27% of renewables in 2030.
Every two years the Commission reports on progress towards the 2020 goal.
25 member states are on track to meeting their individually set targets, and 19 are on course to exceed them. Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the UK failed to meet their 2013/14 interim goals.
The report said France, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, UK, and to a lesser extent Belgium and Spain, may need to assess whether their policies are sufficient to deliver their 2020 goals, though the report only considered policies imposed by the end of 2013.
It said achievement is also not certain in Hungary and Poland as their targets only appear achievable under “optimistic assumptions”.
The Renewable Energy Directive allows member states to trade or cooperate to meet targets, but this has not yet been tested, partly because most nations are on track but also because governments are hesitant to invest in other countries.
“There are good prospects for cooperation and redistribution of the renewable energy target achieve between member states … 2015 and 2016 will be crucial years for signing cooperation agreements.”
“The report shows once again that Europe is good at renewables, and that renewables are good for Europe. We have 3 times more renewable power per capita in Europe than anywhere else in the rest of the world. We have more than 1 million people working in the renewable energy sector worth over €130bn a year. We export €35 billion worth of renewables every year,” said Miguel Arias Cañete, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy.
By Ben Garside – firstname.lastname@example.org