According to the European Environment Agency (EEA), European Union (EU) member nations are making progress toward achieving the common target for renewable energy consumption. Renewables contributed 13% of final energy consumption in 2011, which the EEA says should increase to 20% by 2020.
Overall, the EEA says EU countries are showing mixed progress toward achieving climate and energy targets for 2020, even though the union as a whole could reduce greenhouse gases emissions by 21% in 2020 with the set of national measures already adopted. While the collective primary energy consumption of the EU is expected to decrease toward the political objective of 20% reduction by 2020, the EEA says additional policy support is needed from each country.
‘EEA's latest analysis confirms that renewable energy and energy efficiency are having a significant effect on bringing down emissions,’ says EEA Executive Director Hans Bruyninckx, in a statement. ‘We must keep building on this success – to achieve the emissions cuts demanded by science, member states must ensure that they are not making choices today that become obstacles to a low-carbon future.’
In September, a coalition of European renewable energy industry representatives sent a letter to EU officials asking for a legally binding target for renewable energy in member nations by 2030.
The EEA's latest assessment of the progress of the European countries toward achieving climate mitigation and energy policy objectives can be found here.