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RES progress 2001-2010

EU missed target of 21% RES in the electricity mix in 2010

Published: 18/07/2012

Over ten years ago, the EU Member States committed to indicative deployment targets for renewable energy sources (RES). In 2001, the European Parliament and the Council adopted the Directive 2001/77/EC on the promotion of electricity produced from RES.

Recently published data by the statistical office of the European Union, Eurostat, shows that the European Union has achieved an overall of 19.9% RES in the electricity mix in 2010, thus slightly missing its target of 21%. The results for particular member states are quite diverse.

An analysis shows that Portugal, for example, exceeds its targets by over 10% and is therefore leading in the successful promotion of renewable energy sources in electricity production as well as being third in actual RES deployment with 50% in 2010. At the other end of the spectrum Austria lags behind, missing its targets formulated in 2001 by over 16%. However, the country remains the front runner in total numbers, with a total share of 61%  although it has missed the opportunity to diversify its RES portfolio in the past ten years. Other countries which have also missed their targets include Slovakia (-10.5%), France (-6.6%) and Malta(-5.0%).

Apart from the successful Portuguese performance, countries like Germany, Spain and Denmark have also managed to exceed their pledges by a few percent. The reasons for success can most often be found in ambitious renewable energy support policies that these countries have implemented in the last decade. For instance, most of Germany’s past achievements result from the highly successful feed-in tariff, the EEG. In Denmark ambitious policies for wind power have fostered a rapid deployment of wind farms (particularly offshore) in the country.

Ecofys is currently analysing the progress of EU Member States in the promotion of renewable energy, particularly in view of the 2020 targets that define the use of renewable energy in gross final energy consumption (Directive 2009/28/EC). The project is funded by the European Commission and illustrates how important effective policies are for the RES deployment.