Renewable electricity consumption (CSI 031/ENER 030) - Assessment published Sep 2005
Energy (Primary topic)
Typology: Performance indicator (Type B - Does it matter?)
- CSI 031
- ENER 030
Key policy question: How fast the share of renewable electricity in total gross electricity consumption is increasing in Europe?
The share of renewable energy in EU electricity consumption grew slightly over the period 1990-2001 but decreased in 2002 due to lower production from hydropower. Significant further growth will be needed to meet the EU indicative target of a 21 % share by 2010.
Renewable energy makes an important contribution to meeting electricity consumption with a share of 12.7 % in 2002. However, this share has not increased significantly since 1990 (12.2%) despite growth in absolute terms. Total renewable electricity production grew by 32.3% over the period 1990 to 2002, but this was only slightly faster than the growth in gross electricity consumption. Compared with 2001, the share of renewables in gross electricity consumption in 2002 declined by 1.5 percentage points due to lower production from hydropower, as a result of lower rainfall. Substantial growth is needed to meet the EU-25 indicative target of 21% by 2010 set in Directive 2001/77/EC.
There are significant differences in the share of renewables between the EU-25 Member States. These reflect differences in the policies chosen by each country to support the development of renewable energy and the availability of natural resources.
Among the EU-25 in 2002, Austria had the largest share of renewable electricity in gross electricity consumption including large hydropower, and the third largest share excluding large hydropower. Denmark and Finland have the largest shares of renewable electricity in gross electricity consumption when large hydropower is excluded. Finland's high share is due mainly to electricity production from biomass, while Denmark's renewable electricity is produced by wind power and, to a much lesser extent, biomass and wastes. In both these countries, government policies have been in place to encourage the growth of these technologies. In absolute terms, Germany has the largest production of renewable electricity excluding large hydropower, mainly from wind and biomass.
While large hydropower dominates renewable electricity production in most Member States, it is unlikely to increase significantly in the future in the EU-25 as a whole due to environmental concerns and a lack of suitable sites. Other renewable energy sources, such as wind, biomass, solar and small-scale hydropower will therefore have to grow substantially if the 2010 target is to be met.
Renewable electricity consumption (IEA)
provided by International Energy Agency (IEA)
provided by US Energy Information Administration (EIA)
Energy statistics (Eurostat)
provided by Eurostat - Statistical Office of the European Union (ESTAT)
More information about this indicator
See this indicator specification for more details.
Contacts and ownership
EEA Contact InfoMihai Florin Tomescu
EEA Management Plan2010 (note: EEA internal system)
Frequency of updates
For references, please go to www.eea.europa.eu/soer or scan the QR code.
This briefing is part of the EEA's report The European Environment - State and Outlook 2015. The EEA is an official agency of the EU, tasked with providing information on Europe’s environment.
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