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Increased renewable energy sources will help the EU transition towards a prosperous, sustainable, climate-compatible and independent economy. In recent years, Europe has been generating more renewable energy and a growing share of its energy consumption is met through renewable sources.
Flexibility in Europe's power system
Flexibility is the power system’s ability to adjust to the fluctuating generation and consumption of energy. Flexibility can be provided in different timeframes, such as days, weeks or seasons and by different technologies.
With the EU 2030 renewables target of 42.5% (compared with 22% in 2021), this decade will see an accelerated decarbonisation of EU electricity supply.
EU Member States need to massively ramp up their renewable power capacity in the coming years. This increase in renewables from variable sources, such as wind and solar, will also increase the need for ‘flexibility’ in the EU electricity system.
A joint report by two EU agencies, EEA and ACER, demonstrates how Member States could exploit collaboration synergies to unlock flexibility and enhance energy security while contributing to long-term climate neutrality.
How much of our energy comes from renewable sources?
In 2022, 22,5% of the energy consumed in the EU was generated from renewable sources, according to our early estimates.
This slight increase compared to 2021, was largely driven by strong growth in solar power. The share is also amplified by a 2022 reduction in non-renewable energy consumption linked to high energy prices.
The share of renewables in Europe is expected to keep growing. However, meeting the new target of 42.5% for 2030 will demand more than doubling the rates of renewables deployment seen over the past decade, and requires a deep transformation of the European energy system.
Cleaner transport thanks to renewable energy?
The share of energy from renewable sources used for transport in the EU increased from under 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.
Climate and energy in the EU: progress towards climate neutrality by 2050
Become a prosumer and help the EU switch to renewable energy
People, institutions and businesses can help deploy renewable energy and reduce fuel imports by becoming prosumers, who both produce and consume energy. For example, by installing solar panels on their roofs or by being part of an energy community, prosumers can lower their bills while supporting the energy transition. They can also provide other services to the power grid such as energy storage.
Prosumers still face many challenges, including costs, regulatory barriers, or lack of volunteers or expertise. However, opportunities for prosumers are growing with technological development and, importantly, an increasingly supportive EU policy framework. Prosumers are now a key element of the recent REPowerEU proposal and its Solar Rooftop initiative.
Renewable energy: benefits for climate and energy and interplay with air pollutant emissions
The EEA dashboard shows the estimated annual effects of the increased renewable energy sources consumption since 2005 on fossil fuels and grennhouse gases, but also on major air pollutant emissions.