EU renewable energy share hits 17.5 per cent in 2017
18 February 2019 | Mitigation
Statistics show 11 member states have hit 2020 renewables target early, as bloc increases share of energy sourced from renewables
The European Union produced 17.5 per cent of its energy from renewable sources in 2017, with 11 member states having now achieved their binding renewable energy targets for 2020, the latest official statistics show.
The results mark a slight uptick from 2016, when the EU achieved a 17 per cent renewable energy share.
Renewables share of the energy mix is now more than double the 8.5 per cent share achieved overall in 2004, the first year in which the Eurostat data was made available.
The EU's overall target is to obtain 20 per cent of its gross final consumption of energy from renewables - covering both heat and electricity - by 2020, rising to at least 32 per cent by 2030.
However, each member state has its own individual 2020 target taking into account different starting points.
In 2017, 19 of 28 member states increased their share of renewables compared to the previous year, with Sweden achieving by far the highest share at 54.5 per cent.
Just behind Sweden, Finland achieved a 41 per cent share in 2017 followed by Latvia on 39 per cent, Denmark at 35 per cent, and Austria at 32.6 per cent.
At the other end of the scale, the Netherlands and France remain the furthest from reaching their individual renewable energy goals, with the Dutch languishing on 6.6 per cent against a 14 per cent target for 2020 and France, on 16.3 per cent, struggling to make progress towards its 23 per cent goal.
And despite the UK enjoying high levels of renewable electricity from its wind and solar sectors - which alongside nuclear means low carbon sources now make up more than half of its power - high levels of gas for heating is hampering its ability to meet its 2020 EU renewable energy goal.
In 2017, the UK produced 10.2 per cent of its energy from renewables, an increase on the 9.2 per cent recorded the previous year but still well short against its target of 15 per cent by 2020.
Source: Business Green