Brussels, 24 April 2009
The Commission adopted today a progress report on renewable energy (in the electricity and transport sectors), highlighting the patchy progress made and the EU's likely failure to reach the 2010 indicative targets. The report explores the reason for this and explains that the new Directive on renewable energy, agreed as part of the energy and climate package and due to enter into force in May, addresses all the concerns highlighted in the report and provides a solid basis for removing barriers and increasing the growth of renewable energy for the next ten years.
The Community established 2010 targets for the share of electricity from renewable energy and for the share renewable energy used in the transport sector. This was done by Directives 2001/77/EC and Directive 2003/30/EC respectively. These Directives require that Member States submit annual reports on progress, and that the Commission review progress every two years.
This latest progress report covers both the electricity and the transport sectors. It notes the uneven progress of the last two years, with some Member States already reaching their targets, and others far behind. It confirms earlier analysis that we are unlikely to reach the 2010 targets in either sector: the EU could reach a 19% share in electricity, rather than 21% and 4% instead of 5.75% in the transport sector.
The report contains a summary table of recent progress (the increase in the shares between 2004/5-2006/7) and the progress made towards the 2010 targets in each Member State. The report also notes the need for further activity in the biomass sector in particular, and recalls the actions undertaken by both the Commission and Member States.
The reasons for the uneven progress are not new. Despite the Commission launching infringement proceedings against various Member States, the current legal framework does not provide an adequate basis for supporting solid growth in renewable energy use. Known barriers remain - surrounding administrative procedures, grid access, and guaranteeing adequate support and measures from Member States to ensure that growth occurs. This report therefore highlights the ongoing need for a new and stronger legislative framework, which is precisely what is provided by the new Directive on renewable energy. This Directive, agreed by Member States and Parliament in December as part of the energy and climate package and due to enter into force in May, addresses all these known concerns.
Further details of the analysis summarised in the progress report are contained in the Staff Working Document accompanying the report.
SUMMARY OF MEMBER STATES' PROGRESS IN DEVELOPING RENEWABLE ENERGY
Source: Eurostat 2006: share of energy from renewable sources as a percentage of final energy consumption with normalised hydro generation (including consumption of the energy branch for electricity and heat generation and distribution losses).
Key to "smiley" grades
For example, Italy has made 40% of the effort needed to get from its 1997 share of renewable electricity to its 2010 target and therefore gets a "K" for progress. Between 2004 and 2006 its share increased from 15.78 to 18.32, an increase of over 2% and thus it gets a "J" for recent growth.