Taking a closer look at Europe's renewable energy plans for 2020

News Published 14 Sep 2010 Last modified 21 Jun 2016
1 min read
Europe is committed to obtaining 20 % of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. But how is the responsibility for reaching this common target shared among EU countries? And how will individual countries achieve their targets? The European Environment Agency (EEA) provides answers to such questions via a database, which facilitates the comparison of figures across technologies and between Member States.

Member States are obliged to submit National Renewable Energy Action Plans (NREAPs) to the European Commission, outlining how they expect to meet their 2020 renewable target, including the technology mix they intend to use and the trajectory they will follow. So far, 19 countries have submitted this information: Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

The key data have been extracted from the National Action Plans and made available for further analysis and comparison in a database. The main information is also presented in graphs and tables in a data report.

The available data from the 19 National Action Plans show that:

  • Electricity will make up 45 % of total renewable energy production, with wind power supplying 41 % of renewable electricity;
  • 43 % of all renewable energy production will be used for heating and cooling, with biomass accounting for 80 % renewable heating and cooling output;
  • Transport will make up the smallest proportion of renewable energy production (12 %), but is the fastest growing element between 2005 and 2020.

These figures are likely to change as more countries submit their plans in coming weeks. Their data will be incorporated into both the database and the data report when they become available.

Background information on the NREAPs

The EU climate and energy package has three main goals for 2020: reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20 %; improving energy efficiency by 20%; and generating 20 % of energy consumption from renewable energy. In order to support the renewable energy objective, each Member State is requested to submit plans (NREAPs) detailing how they will reach their individual targets.





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