Renewable electricity - outlook from EEA (Outlook 053) - Assessment published Jun 2007
Environmental scenarios (Primary topic)
Typology: Performance indicator (Type B - Does it matter?)
- Outlook 053
Key policy question: Are we switching to renewable energy sources to meet our electricity consumption?
The renewables share in gross power generation rises to 17.4% in 2010. This falls however short of the indicative target of the renewables electricity directive (21%) indicating that the measures implemented in the Member-States by the end of 2006 are not yet sufficient. In any case, the Baseline scenario shows a dynamic development in renewable penetration in electricity, as the renewable share in gross generation is projected to raise further to about 20% in 2020 and about 23% in 2030.
Electricity Generation by Fuel from 2000 to 2030, in EU 27
The structure of power generation changes significantly in favour of renewables, natural gas and solid fuels, whereas nuclear and oil lose market shares. The renewables share in gross power generation rises to 17.4% in 2010 - which falls however short of the indicative target of the renewables electricity directive - indicating that the measures implemented in the Member-States by the end of 2006 are not yet sufficient7 . In any case, the Baseline scenario shows a dynamic development in renewable penetration in electricity, as the renewable share in gross generation rises further to 20% in 2020 and
23% in 2030.
This development is clearly driven by the high growth rates of wind energy - especially in this decade; but growth rates are still impressing in coming decades. In total, wind energy in 2030 provides over 15 times as much electricity as was available from this source in 2000. In 2030, wind power is expected to produce almost as much electricity as hydro.
Biomass use for power generation also rises considerably; solar PV displays high growth rates from a small basis, while the additional contribution from hydro power is small as a result of limited additional potential and environmental restrictions.
Nuclear declines due to political decisions. The nuclear share falls from over 30% today to only 20% in 2030 despite considerable investment in new nuclear plants in countries without restrictions on nuclear. Overall, the share of indigenous and carbon free sources (renewables plus nuclear) decreases somewhat, from currently 45% it
reaches 43% at the end of the projection period.
The increasing electricity demand and to some extent the higher penetration of intermittent renewables require substantially higher power generation capacities.
The net capacity increase up to 2030 amounts to 227 GW, which corresponds to 31% of the present generation capacity. In addition, the power plants that will be closed over the next decades need to be replaced. The net increase of generation capacity concerns exclusively renewables and natural gas. Coal and lignite plants due for closure will be replaced with much more efficient ones strongly increasing solid fuel fired power generation. On the other hand, not all nuclear plants will be replaced with power stations of the same type at the end of their techno-economic or "political" lifetime8. This applies also for oil plants on economic grounds.
1 The comments received by the DG TREN from the Member States experts on the draft baseline suggested a downward revision of wind and hydro production especially for the short and medium term in several Member States.
Input data to PRIMES - macro-economic data: demographics, antional accounts, sectoral activity and income variables - output from EUROSTAT data
Input data to PRIMES model - structure of energy consumtpion and structure of activity variables - output from EUROSTAT data
Output data from PRIMES - Electricity generation - output from PRIMES model
provided by Directorate-General for Energy and Transport
More information about this indicator
See this indicator specification for more details.
Contacts and ownership
EEA Contact InfoAnita Pirc Velkavrh
EEA Management Plan2010 (note: EEA internal system)
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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