Renewable energy consumption - outlook from IEA (Outlook 039) - Assessment published Jun 2006
Environmental scenarios (Primary topic)
Typology: Performance indicator (Type B - Does it matter?)
- Outlook 039
Key policy question: Are we switching to renewable sources?
Assessment created 2007
If current technological trends continue and government policies that have been adopted are implemented*,the use of renewable energy in the pan-European region is projected to increase, mainly because of the large increase in OECD Europe. Global renewable energy consumption is projected to increase from 1 475 Mtoe in 2004 to 2 349 Mtoe in 2030. The share of renewables in TEC is projected to increase slightly (from 13 % in 2004 to 14 % in 2030), mainly because of the expected efforts in Europe and North America.
Although biomass would lose part of its share to other forms of energy, it is projected to continue to dominate the renewables market in all the regions except the Eastern part of Europe. Hydropower is expected to remain the second largest renewable source, but to remain the most important in the Eastern part of Europe (about 50 % in 2030). Non-hydro renewables** are projected to grow the fastest, but with their share in total energy consumption still only reaching 1.7 % in 2030 - up from 0.5 % today.
Projected percentage change in renewables consumption by type from 2004 to 2030
Note: International comparison
World energy outlook 2006. OECD/IEA (2006), Tables for Reference and Alternative Policy Scenario Projections, as modified by the EEA.
- The use of renewables in the pan-European region is projected to increase, mainly because of the contribution of OECD Europe, where the share of renewables in total energy consumption is projected to more than double between 2004 and 2030, providing government policies adopted and enhanced by mid-2006 are implemented. Projections for the rest of Europe show a smaller increase (from 4 % in 2004 to 7 % in 2030) in the transition countries, including EECCA (excluding Russia), SEE and some EU-10 countries, with the share in Russia increasing from 3 % in 2004 to 4 % in 2030.
- OECD North America shows similar trends to OECD Europe but on a smaller scale. The share of renewables in total energy consumption is projected to increase from 6 to 9 % over the period, with the largest increase in the USA (from 4 % in 2004 to 8 % in 2030).
- India is projected to remain the largest user of renewable energy with 26 % of renewables in its energy mix, but this will be considerably smaller than in 2004 (38 %). A decline in renewable use is also projected for China, from 16 % in 2004 to 10 % in 2030. These declines are because of the replacement of biomass for cooking and heating by modern commercial energy.
- Biomass is projected to continue to dominate the renewables market in all the regions except the transition countries (including Russia), but its growth is projected to be the lowest and its share of total renewables to decline continuously. The use of hydropower is projected to increase significantly in India and China, increasing its share of total renewables; in the Eastern part of Europe it maintains the major share in spite of a small absolute decline. Other renewable energy technologies, including wind, solar, geothermal, wave and tidal energy, are projected to show the fastest increase in all world regions and increasingly affect the renewable energy mix.
* Projections are based on the IEA reference case scenario, which takes into account government policies enacted and adopted by mid-2006, even though many of these have not been fully implemented. Possible, potential or even unlikely future measures are not considered. The reference scenario is based on the UNSTAT projections of population growth (world average growth rate 1 % per year for 2004-2030) and OECD and International Monetary Fund projections for economic development (world average growth rate 3.4% per year for 2004-2030). It is assumed that energy-supply and energy use technologies become steadily more efficient, though at varying speeds for each fuel and each sector, depending on the potential for efficiency gains and the stage of technology development and commercialisation. New policies - excluded from the Reference scenario - would be needed to accelerate deployment of more efficient and cleaner technologies.
** Non-hydro renewables - solar, geothermal, wind, tide and wave energy.
Input data to WEO model - technological developments
Input data to WEO model - fuel prices
Input data to WEO model - population
Input data to WEO model - economic growth
Input data to WEO model - electricity consumption
Input data to WEO model - electricity prices
Input data to WEO model - primary demand for fossil fuels
Outlook from WEO - Renewable energy consumption
More information about this indicator
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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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