EU’s creeping clean energy efforts risk missing 2020 goal

(EurActiv, 23 Jan 2020) Renewable energy made up 18% of the EU’s power consumption in 2018, according to statistics compiler Eurostat. But the slow pace of development may leave the bloc short of its 2020 target.

According to new figures published on Thursday (23 January), the EU increased its share of renewables from 17.5% in 2017 to 18% in 2018, the last year for which full data is available. An overall EU-wide target of 20% is in force for 2020.

Twelve of the 28 member states have now reached their individual benchmarks, which were calculated based on a number of factors ranging from their energy-mix starting point to geographical considerations.

Since the last set of data was released in February 2019, just one country – Latvia – has achieved its 2020 goal early, after it upped its biomass and hydropower capacity.

Austria, Hungary, Portugal and Romania are all within striking distance and an extra percentage point will add them to the list of twelve early-finishers.

But the rate of overall progress has come in for criticism. The head of industry group WindEurope, Giles Dickson, said that “if we can’t meet the modest 2020 targets, something needs to drastically change to deliver the far more ambitious Green Deal targets”.

Eurostat points out that renewable capacity has doubled since 2004 but a closer look at the data shows that as of 2015, there has been a slowdown in annual increase. According to the current trend, the 2020 target will not be met.

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EurActiv, 23 Jan 2020: EU’s creeping clean energy efforts risk missing 2020 goal