Cambridge Energy Data Analysis: Renewable energy in Europe: how far are we from the targets?

In 2009, the European Union set mandatory targets for renewable energy use that every member state has to reach by the year 2020. In this post we will analyse the progress of each member state using the latest estimates released by Eurostat.

Shares of renewable energy in 2012

In the figure below we have the shares of gross final renewable energy consumption for each member state and how far the states are from their target: Here we note that Sweden, Estonia and Bulgaria already reached their targets while Malta Luxembourg and the UK have the lowest shares of renewable energy in gross final energy consumption. Also, Norway is the country with the highest share of renewable energy. Netherland, France and the UK are the countries furthest from their targets.

Increase since 2006

In the following chart we compare the increase of shares from 2006 to 2012 of each country: From this chart we note that all the member states increased their share of renewable energy since 2006. Another interesting fact we note here is that the three states with the highest increases are, in order, Malta, the UK and Belgium, which are also some of the countries furthest from the achievement of their targets.

Evolution of the shares from 2004 to 2012

In this figure we compare the trend of the shares of renewable energy among the biggest European countries excluding the Scandinavian ones: We can observe that Italy and the UK had the fastest growth of renewable energy shares, but while the UK share has never been comparable to the ones of the other countries, Italy was able to overtake France and Germany in 2011. We can also see that the German share had the slowest growth and that Spain is the country with the highest share since 2009.

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