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Renewable energy: the promotion of electricity from renewable energy sources

The European Union is creating a Community framework for promoting renewable energy sources for electricity production. It is setting an objective for renewables of a 21% contribution to electricity production and is laying down specific measures relating to evaluation of the origin of the electricity, connection to the grid and administrative measures, among others.

ACT

Directive 2001/77/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 September 2001 on the promotion of electricity from renewable energy sources in the internal electricity market [See amending acts].

SUMMARY

Background

The promotion of electricity from renewable energy sources (RES) is a high European Union (EU) priority for several reasons, including the security and diversification of energy supply, environmental protection and social and economic cohesion.

The Directive follows up the 1997 White Paper on renewable energy sources which set a target of 12% of gross inland energy consumption from renewables for the EU-15 by 2010, of which electricity would represent 22.1%. With the 2004 enlargement, the EU’s overall objective became 21%. The Directive also constitutes an essential part of the package of measures needed to comply with the commitments made by the EU under the Kyoto Protocol on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

European companies are currently among the world leaders in developing new technologies connected with RES electricity. The Directive aims to give a boost to stepping up the contribution of these energies while respecting the principles of the internal market.

Scope

The Directive concerns electricity produced from non-fossil renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, geothermal, wave, tidal, hydroelectric, biomass, landfill gas, sewage treatment gas and biogas energies. The definitions in Directive 96/92/EC concerning common rules for the internal market in electricity are also applicable to this Directive.

National targets for consumption of electricity from renewable sources of energy

The Member States which joined the EU in 2004 must apply the provisions of Directive 2001/77/EC on producing electricity from renewable energy sources. Their Accession Treaty sets national indicative targets for the proportion of electricity produced from RES (RES-E) in each new Member State the result of which is an overall objective of 21% for the EU-25.

The Member States must adopt and publish, initially every five years, a report setting the indicative Member State targets for future RES-E consumption for the following ten years and showing what measures have or are to be taken to meet those targets. The Member State targets must take account of the reference values set out in the Annex to the Directive for Member States' indicative targets concerning the share of electricity produced from renewable energy sources in gross electricity consumption in 2010. They must also be compatible with all the national commitments entered into as part of the commitments accepted by the Community in Kyoto.

Evaluation of national targets and measures

This evaluation will be undertaken at national and Community level.

Evaluation at Community level

At Community level, the Commission is to publish a biannual report based on the national reports assessing the extent to which:

  • the Member States have progressed towards achieving the national targets;
  • the national indicative targets are compatible with the global indicative target of 12% of gross domestic energy consumption in 2010, and in particular with the indicative share of 22.1% of electricity from renewable energy sources out of the total electricity consumption of the Community in 2010.

Should the Commission's report conclude that the national targets are liable to be inconsistent with the main objectives of the Directive, the Commission may present proposals to the European Parliament and to the Council with respect to the targets, including, if need be, proposals for obligatory targets.

Directive 2001/77/EC is repealed by Directive 2009/28/EC from 1 January 2012. Moreover, from 1 April 2010, Article 2, paragraph 2 of Article 3 and Articles 4 to 8 will be deleted.

REFERENCES

ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Directive 2001/77/EC

27.10.2001

27.10.2003

OJ L 283 of 27.10.2001

Amending actsEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Act of Accession of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia

1.5.2004

-

JO L 236 du 23.09.2003

Directive 2006/108/CE

1.1.2007

1.1.2007

JO L 363 du 20.12.2006

Directive 2009/28/CE

25.6.2009

5.12.2010

JO L 140 du 5.6.2009

Successive amendments and corrections to Directive 2001/77/EC have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated version is for reference purpose only.

Last updated: 20.01.2011
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