EU to meet renewable energy target

By Anna Austin
Posted March 12, 2010, at 10:19 a.m. CST

The EU is on track to meet its renewable energy target of 20 percent by 2020, the EU Commission announced this week. In fact, it may even surpass that goal by 0.3 percent.

According to the EU Renewable Energy Directive, first endorsed by EU leaders in March 2007, 20 percent of EU state energy consumption must come from renewable sources by 2020, including biomass, hydro, wind and solar power.

In a summary released by the commission, it was found that 10 out of the 27 EU member states are likely to exceed national targets for renewable energy, led by Spain and Germany. Five states-Italy, Denmark, Luxemburg, Malta and Belgium-are not currently expected to meet their targets with domestic sources only; Italy forecasts the largest deficit.

The states which cannot reach their targets with domestic resources alone must either acquire transfers from other states with surpluses or countries outside of the EU.

The summary noted that in supplying the EU with renewable energy forecast documents, several states emphasized that in developing their renewable energy sources to meet targets or to take part in the use of cooperation mechanisms under the directive, new infrastructure was required. This included interconnectors and the general need to reinforce the capacity of the grid in many EU countries. For the EU overall, the share of electricity from renewable energy sources is expected to reach 33 percent to 35 percent, accentuating the need to improve the electricity grid's ability to manage and balance electricity flows and to improve interconnections of the grid to improve stability. The commission anticipates that the National Renewable Energy Action Plans, due in June 2010, will contain significantly more information on this matter.