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Indicator Specification

Share of energy consumption from renewable sources in Europe

Indicator Specification
  Indicator codes: CSI 048 , ENER 028
Published 30 Mar 2021 Last modified 04 Oct 2021
17 min read
Topics:
This indicator measures the EU’s progress towards achieving its 2020 and 2030 renewable energy targets. Gross final renewable energy consumption is the amount of renewable energy consumed for electricity, heating and cooling, and transport in the 27 EU Member States using actual and normalised hydropower and wind power generation, and is expressed as a share of gross final energy consumption. The Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/EC) defines gross final energy consumption as the energy commodities delivered for energy purposes to final consumers (industry, transport, households, services, agriculture, forestry and fisheries), including the consumption of electricity and heat by the energy branch for electricity and heat production, and including losses of electricity and heat in transmission and distribution. Figure 1 shows consumption of energy from renewable sources (including only certified biofuels complying with the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) sustainability criteria) as a proportion of gross final energy consumption, the indicative RED trajectory towards the 2020 target, the indicative 2020 target and the 2030 target. It should be noted that the official 2020 targets refer to the EU-27 plus the United Kingdom and to individual Member States. The same target 20 % target has been used for the EU-27 in this indicator. For more information, please refer to the annual EEA's, T rends and projections in Europe and Renewable energy in Europe  reports.   Figure 2 shows the consumption of energy from renewable sources as a proportion of gross final energy consumption by country. It illustrates the progress made by the EU, its Member States and other EEA member countries with respect to their binding renewable energy targets for 2020.

Assessment versions

Published (reviewed and quality assured)
 

Rationale

Justification for indicator selection

Rationale for this indicator has not been identified

Scientific references

Indicator definition

This indicator measures the EU’s progress towards achieving its 2020 and 2030 renewable energy targets. Gross final renewable energy consumption is the amount of renewable energy consumed for electricity, heating and cooling, and transport in the 27 EU Member States using actual and normalised hydropower and wind power generation, and is expressed as a share of gross final energy consumption.

The Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/EC) defines gross final energy consumption as the energy commodities delivered for energy purposes to final consumers (industry, transport, households, services, agriculture, forestry and fisheries), including the consumption of electricity and heat by the energy branch for electricity and heat production, and including losses of electricity and heat in transmission and distribution.

Figure 1 shows consumption of energy from renewable sources (including only certified biofuels complying with the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) sustainability criteria) as a proportion of gross final energy consumption, the indicative RED trajectory towards the 2020 target, the indicative 2020 target and the 2030 target. It should be noted that the official 2020 targets refer to the EU-27 plus the United Kingdom and to individual Member States. The same target 20 % target has been used for the EU-27 in this indicator.

For more information, please refer to the annual EEA's, Trends and projections in Europe and Renewable energy in Europe reports. 

Figure 2 shows the consumption of energy from renewable sources as a proportion of gross final energy consumption by country. It illustrates the progress made by the EU, its Member States and other EEA member countries with respect to their binding renewable energy targets for 2020.

Units

% of energy consumed coming from renewable sources 

 

Policy context and targets

Context description

The RED (2009/28/EC) and its recast directive (2018/2001/EU) establish an overall policy for the production of energy from renewable sources and the promotion of its use in the EU. These directives committed the EU to the target of ensuring that 20 % of its gross final energy consumption came from renewable energy sources by 2020 and that 10 % of final energy consumption in transport came from renewable sources by the same year. The 20 % target is one of three headline targets under the Europe 2020 strategy, the others being a 20 % reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, compared with 1990, and a 20 % decrease in primary energy consumption compared with projections by 2020. The targets for 2030 are a minimum 40 % reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, compared with 1990, a minimum 32 % share of renewable energy consumption in gross final energy consumption and a minimum 32.5 % improvement in energy efficiency.

Achieving the targets depended on the further fine tuning of existing policy frameworks, improved market conditions for grid access to renewable sources and the full implementation of a guarantee-of-origin system to allow further development of the renewable consumer market. In addition, better and more integrated planning will be required to ensure not only a high efficiency of investment and an accelerated pace of development, but also that the market penetration of these renewable sources takes place in a manner that minimises the environmental impact within and outside the EU-27.

The share of renewable energy consumption in final energy consumption is a broad indicator of progress towards reducing the impact of energy consumption on the environment (i.e. through decreased greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutant emissions). However, significant impacts of increasing renewable energy consumption are felt on landscapes, habitats and ecosystems, namely from construction, the use of water, the use of fertilisers and pesticides for biomass and biofuel crops, and the extraction of heavy metals for photovoltaic cells; these impacts must also be considered.

Replacing fossil fuels with renewables results in lower carbon emissions. However, total carbon emissions are not necessarily determined by the share of renewable energy in final energy consumption, but by the total amount of energy consumed from fossil sources. Therefore, from an environmental point of view, attaining the renewable energy targets does not necessarily mean that CO2 emissions from energy consumption will fall (e.g. if the growth in energy consumption is supported by renewables but fossil fuel use remains stable, the renewable energy share will grow but carbon emissions will not decrease).

Targets

Official 2020 targets refer to the EU-27 plus the United Kingdom and individual Member States. The same 20 % target has been used for the EU-27. The indicative trajectory at EU level is calculated from all national indicative RED trajectories.

Related policy documents

  • Directive (EU) 2018/2001
    Directive (EU) 2018/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2018 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources
  • DIRECTIVE 2009/28/EC
    DIRECTIVE 2009/28/EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 23 April 2009 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources and amending and subsequently repealing Directives 2001/77/EC and 2003/30/EC

Key policy question

Share of energy consumption from renewable sources in Europe aggregated level assessment

Specific policy question

Share of energy consumption from renewable sources in Europe disaggregate level assessment

 

Methodology

Methodology for indicator calculation

Eurostat data

The renewable energy share data used for 2005-2019 were taken directly from the Eurostat SHARES tool. The SHARES tool focuses on the harmonised calculation of the share of energy consumption from renewable sources among the 27 EU Member States. This is done in accordance with the RED guidelines and is based on national energy data reported to Eurostat. The Shares tool detailed results and manual are available online (https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/energy/data/shares).

Electricity generation from hydropower and wind power must be normalised to smooth the effect of weather-related variations. In the case of hydropower, the normalisation is based on the ratio of electricity generation to the installed capacity averaged over 15 years; in the case of wind power, a similar normalisation formula is applied over 5 years. The Shares tool takes into account all biofuels consumed in transport between 2005 and 2010, and only biofuels certified as being in compliance with the RED sustainability criteria for the years starting from 2011.

With regard to the calculation of the gross final energy consumption for Cyprus and Malta, the derogation in RED was used. This derogation allows these countries to consider the amount of energy consumed in aviation, as a proportion of their gross final energy consumption, to be no more than 4.12 %.

Proxy data

This indicator will be updated with early estimates (proxies) for the year 2020. More information can be found on the EEA proxies web page.

Methodology for gap filling

No gap filling was required for this indicator.

Methodology references

No methodology references available.

 

Data specifications

EEA data references

  • No datasets have been specified here.

External data references

Data sources in latest figures

 

Uncertainties

Methodology uncertainty

Data for 2015-2019 were compiled by Eurostat using annual joint questionnaires, which are shared by Eurostat and the International Energy Agency, following a well-established and harmonised methodology. Methodological information on the annual joint questionnaires and data compilation can be found on Eurostat's web page on metadata on energy statistics.

This indicator will be updated in autumn with 2020 early estimates elaborated by the EEA.

Notes on uncertainties in the underlying statistics and methodology:

Biomass and bio-waste, as defined by Eurostat, cover organic, non-fossil material of biological origin, which may be used for heat production or electricity generation. They comprise wood and wood waste, biogas, municipal solid waste (MSW) and biofuels. MSW comprises biodegradable and non-biodegradable wastes produced by different sectors. Non-biodegradable municipal and solid wastes are not considered renewable, but current data availability does not allow the non-biodegradable content of wastes to be identified separately, except in industry.

The electricity produced from hydropower storage systems is not classified as a renewable source of energy in terms of electricity production, but is considered part of the gross electricity consumption of a country. Hydropower and wind power generation are calculated as actual generation and normalised generation. Normalised generation is calculated using the weighted average load factor over the last 15 years for hydropower and the last 5 years for wind power.

The indicator measures the consumption of energy from renewable sources relative to total energy consumption for a particular country. The share of renewable energy could increase even if actual energy consumption from renewable sources falls. Similarly, the share could fall despite an increase in energy consumption from renewable sources.

Electricity consumption within a national territory includes imports of electricity from neighbouring countries. It excludes electricity produced nationally but exported abroad. In some countries, the contribution of electricity trade to total electricity consumption and the changes observed from year to year need to be looked at carefully when analysing trends in electricity from RESs. Impacts on the (national) environment are also affected, since emissions are taken into account for the country in which the electricity is produced, whereas consumption is taken into account for the country in which the electricity is consumed.

 

Data sets uncertainty

No uncertainty has been specified

Rationale uncertainty

No uncertainty has been specified

Further work

Short term work

Work specified here requires to be completed within 1 year from now.

Long term work

Work specified here will require more than 1 year (from now) to be completed.

General metadata

Responsibility and ownership

EEA Contact Info

Javier Esparrago llorca

Ownership

European Environment Agency (EEA)

Identification

Indicator code
CSI 048
ENER 028
Specification
Version id: 5
Primary theme: Energy Energy

Frequency of updates

Updates are scheduled once per year

Classification

DPSIR: Response
Typology: Policy-effectiveness indicator (Type D)
Filed under: energy
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