11 EU countries achieve their 2020 renewable energy targets early

15th February 2019

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Emma Hatherley

Eleven EU countries have already achieved their individual 2020 targets for renewable energy generation, with Sweden outperforming every other member state.

That is according to new EU data, which shows that Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Croatia, Italy, Lithuania, Hungary, Romania, Finland and Sweden have all met their targets early.

The figures also show that renewables accounted for 17.5% of EU energy consumption in 2017, up from 17% the previous year, but still behind the 20% target for 2020.

“Since 2004 the share of renewable sources in gross final consumption of energy grew significantly in all member states,“ The EU's statistical office Eurostat said in a statement.

Eleven have already reached the level required to meet their national 2020 targets – moreover, Latvia and Austria are around one percentage point away from their targets.

With 54.5% of its energy consumption coming from renewable sources, Sweden had by far the highest share in 2017, followed by Latvia, Denmark and Austria on 39%, 35.8% and 32.6% respectfully.

At the other end of the scale, the Netherlands, France, Ireland, the UK, Luxembourg, Poland and Belgium were the furthest away from meeting their targets.

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The findings come after a report launched at the Cop 24 climate summit last year revealed that Sweden is doing more than any other EU nation to tackle climate change, with Ireland doing least.

Morocco, Lithuania, Switzerland and Norway are also among the better performing countries in the ranking, while Saudi Arabia, the US and Iran are bottom of the pile.

The EU is rated “medium“ for developing renewables, reducing energy demand and cutting emissions, but scores high for climate policy thanks to its role on global diplomacy.

EU member states urgently need to accelerate current emission cuts and should aim at overachieving the currently weak 2020 targets,“ said Wendel Trio, director at CAN Europe, which produced the report.

Image credit: iStock

Graphic credit: Eurostat


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