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The share of energy from renewable sources used for transport in the EU increased from below 2% in 2005 to 8.7% in 2022, according to preliminary European Environment Agency (EEA) data. This is 5.3 percentage points below the 2030 target for the share of renewable energy used in transport. Progress among the EU Member States varies significantly, with the share of energy from renewable sources used for transport ranging from 4.4% in Greece and Ireland to 30.8% in Sweden.
In 2009, the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) set the target for transport in all Member States, where 10% of all energy used in transport should come from renewable sources by 2020. In 2020, 10.3% of the total energy used in transport in the EU was from renewable sources, following a steady increase in this share since 2005, when it was just under 2%. This indicates that the 2020 target of 10% was reached at the EU level.
In 2018, the new RED version, known as RED II, strengthened the sustainability criteria for bioenergy and set a new goal for 2030, increasing the target for the share of renewable energy used in transport to 14 % by 2030. In 2021, 9.1% of the total energy used in transport in the EU was from renewable sources. Preliminary EEA estimates suggest that this share fell further to 8.7% in 2022, which is 5.3 percentage points below the 2030 target.
The revision of the RED II is ongoing and a new target for renewables by 2030 is under discussion. In spring 2023, the European Parliament and the Council agreed to increase the EU's binding target for total renewable energy shares in electricity, heating and cooling and transport for 2030. To achieve this target in the transport sector, countries could choose from a binding target of a 14.5% reduction of greenhouse gas intensity in transport from the use of renewables or a binding share of at least 29% of renewables within the final consumption of energy in the transport sector by 2030. In addition, as part of the ‘Fit for 55’ package, the Commission proposed the ReFuelEU Aviation and FuelEU Maritime regulations that aim to boost the uptake of renewable and low carbon fuels in these transport modes. These should further support the achievement of the renewable energy targets.
The extent of progress in achieving the current 2030 targets (of 14% renewable energy used in transport) varies among Member States. According to data from Eurostat shown in figure, Sweden and Finland appear to have already achieved their 2030 target level. Preliminary estimates for 2022 show that only five countries have reached a level of 10%, with two more very close to 10%.
Sweden, which has the highest share of energy from renewable sources in transport, has ambitious targets for the transport sector and uses energy and carbon taxes to achieve these targets: a carbon tax on fuels has been in place since 1991 and exemptions and reductions apply for sustainable biofuels.
Finland has been a leader in setting biofuel distribution obligations to blend a specific energy content of renewable fuel. This had led to significant reduction of road transport emissions as a result of a substantial increase of biodiesel consumption. However, renewable electricity constituted just 4% of total renewable energy used in transport in Finland in 2021. The remaining renewable energy in the share comes from biofuels.