Renewable Energy In The EU
By Paul Homewood
One of the main planks of the EU’s climate policy is the Renewable Energy Directive (RED), which mandates that 20% of the energy consumed within the European Union is renewable by 2020.
However, as different countries in the EU had wildly differing circumstances, each was given their own national target. So, for instance, Sweden, which was already producing 30% of its energy from hydropower in 2005, was targeted for 49%, whereas the Netherlands was given 14%. The UK’s target was 15%.
Although the RED was published in 2009, most of the work on it had been done by 2007, so how have individual countries fared since?
The graphs below relate to the top 10 energy consumers in the EU. First, a look at progress towards the 2020 targets.
Noticeably, Sweden, Czech Republic and Italy have already hit the target, and well above in Sweden’s case. Most others still have a fair way to go.
But now, let’s home in on how much the renewable share has increased since 2005.
Again, we find that Sweden and Italy top the list. But it is also apparent that the UK’s performance is a long way from being the worst, and is better than Poland, Netherlands and France, and similar to Belgium’s.
There is constant carping from environmental groups, Labour and Lib Dems, and, not least, the renewable lobby that the UK is some sort of laggard in these matters. Clearly, we are not the only ones!
All data is from Eurostat