The Directive 2009/28 states that the EU 27 Member States
should achieve an overall 20% share of renewable energy in
gross final energy consumption across Europe. It has set a binding
individual target for each country by 2020.
EurObservER is monitoring
the progress of each Member State in achieving these targets.
The estimates are the first to be published for
Calculating the renewable energy share for each member country
is a delicate task. The results are estimations made by the
EurObservER consortium, based on the information gathered
over the past year by the project team.
The preliminary estimates put
the renewable energy share of gross final energy consumption
for the EU at 14.4% in
2012, compared to
13.1% in 2011, which is a 1.3 % increase.
support this sharp rise in the EUs renewable energy
share. They include:
- The incorporation of sustainability criteria in the biofuel consumption calculations
for the first time increased the total renewable energy
consumption in 2012. According to the Renewable Energy
Directive, these criteria must be met if the consumption is
to be eligible for inclusion. Several EU countries did not
apply these sustainability criteria or only
partly certified their consumption in 2011. The certified
proportion of biofuel was much higher in 2012,
which mechanically increased the renewable share. Also,
Member States may now include part of their heat output from
reversible air-to-air heat pumps. This change significantly
increased the output figures for a number of countries, with
Italy significantly benefiting from this change.
- The exceptionally mild 2011 winter
resulted in lower wood consumption for heating across the EU.
Wood is the main form of renewable energy used in Europe. In 2012, the weather
returned to normal conditions and prompted a catch-up
phenomenon, which considerably increased wood consumption for
- In 2012, the EU 27
witnessed an increase
in the electricity and heat production capacities via wind
energy, solar photovoltaic, and biogas and solid biomass, the
latter primarily through the development of biomass co-firing
and cogeneration. This growth essentially stems from
capacities commissioned in 2011 and reaching full potential
in 2012. However, the increase in hydropower output across
the EU had little impact on the final results, as hydropower
output has standardized over the past 15 years.
- The total consumption of final
energy (renewable or otherwise) continued to decrease in 2012
due to the recession. The estimated drop is 8 million ton of
oil equivalent (MMtoe)―from 1 133.3 MMtoe in 2011 to
125.2 MMtoe in 2012. At the same time, the final renewable
energy consumption increased by 13.4 MMtoe (from 148.8 MMtoe
to 162.2 MMtoe).
EurObservER will publish more refined estimates in its
annual publication, The State of Renewable Energy in Europe, which will be available