EU Falling Well Short Of Renewable Energy Targets
By Paul Homewood
As reported yesterday, various assorted greenies and lefties are up in arms. For instance, Greenpeace.
Daisy Sands, head of energy at Greenpeace, said the leaked letter showed “the dark side of the government’s incoherent energy policy in full technicolour”.
“For the first time, we learn that the government is expecting to miss the EU’s legally binding renewables target,” she said. “This is hugely shocking. But more deplorably, it is wilfully hiding this from public scrutiny. The government is planning on cutting support for the solar and wind subsidies in the name of affordability.”
Then came some nonentity appointed as Shadow Energy Secretary by Jeremy Corbyn, as most of his party refused to work for him:
Lisa Nandy, Labour’s shadow energy secretary, said: "At the very same time the Energy Secretary is telling her Cabinet colleagues in private we’re not on course to meet our legal target on clean energy, she is cutting wind and solar schemes that could help us to meet it.
"It beggars belief that ministers are pursuing these regressive steps, and damaging our international reputation on climate change, less than a month before the important Paris summit."
What none of these critics tell you is that most of the EU is also falling woefully short of the EU targets.
To recap, the EU Renewables Directive, published in 2009, requires that 20 percent of the energy consumed within the European Union is renewable by 2020. Because individual countries had different circumstances, this target was to be pooled, with different targets for each country. So, as an example, for a country like Sweden, which already had large hydroelectric generation and produced 39.8% of its energy from renewables even in 2005, a high target of 49% was set.
At the other extreme, the Netherlands was given a target of 14%.
The full list is here.
The chart below shows how far the largest energy users have got towards their targets.
The UK reached 8% last year, against its target of 15%, but apart from Italy and Spain, the other countries are in a similar or worse position. Even Germany, with its much vaunted, and hugely expensive, Energiewende, is 6% short of its target, barely better than the UK.
Countries such as France, Netherlands and Poland don’t appear to have a cat in hell’s chance of meeting targets.
Across the EU as a whole, renewables contributed 13% last year.
What actually brings home how much further the UK has gone, compared to other countries, in its progress to 2020 targets is the change in the share of renewables in the energy mix since 2010.
Only Italy has increased the share of renewables by more than the UK. Most have done considerably less than we have.
And what are the chances of getting near the 2020 target?
We have maybe 5 GW of offshore wind in the pipeline, which might add 15 TWh. Extra onshore wind, solar and biomass might push this figure up to 35 TWh, which would bring the renewable share of electricity generation to about 30%, from its current level of 19%.
But since electricity only accounts for about a quarter of overall energy consumption, the share of renewables in the latter would still only increase to maybe 11%.
It appears highly unlikely that other forms of renewable energy, such as biofuels, will make much difference to this.
The whole episode reflects extremely poorly on Tony Blair, who was instrumental in pushing the whole renewables agenda at EU level, and who saddled us with unrealistic targets, not to mention the prospect of heavy fines.
As for Greenpeace and the Labour party, not to mention the Lib Dems, who still want to inflict their agenda on the UK at huge cost and damage to the country, I have utter contempt.
Is it too much to expect the media to actually provide the sort of analysis, which would allow readers to formulate their own conclusions, instead of being force fed with Greenpeace propaganda?