11 March 2010

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Renewable energy: forecasts show EU on track to meet 20% target

The EU will surpass its target to consume 20 per cent of its energy from renewable energy by 2020, according to national forecasts submitted to the European Commission. In its summary published today, the Commission finds that the EU will reach an overall share of 20,3 per cent renewables.

Günther Oettinger, European Commissioner responsible for Energy said: "These forecasts show that Member States take renewable energy very seriously and are really dedicated to push their domestic production. It is an important milestone in the achievement of the goals set in the Europe 2020 Strategy. This is a very positive sign for the environment, as it will help us to cut CO2 emissions and at the same time enhance our energy security. It is also a very positive message for our economy and our companies. It is an incentive to invest in green technology and the production of renewable energy. Our task will be to help all Member States not only to reach the 20 per cent target but to go beyond".

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More: Transparency Platform


Benchmarking Report: correct implementation of EU energy law and infrastructure investment top priority

Member States still lack behind in the implementation of the internal energy market rules. In its 2009 Benchmarking Report adopted today, the European Commission gives a mixed picture of the accomplishment of the internal energy market.

Günther Oettinger, European Commissioner responsible for Energy said: " A well functioning internal energy market will provide the right investment signals and will bring clear benefits for electricity and gas consumers across the EU. The full and correct implementation of the energy rules has still not been achieved. This situation needs to change and the Commission will use all means available to make this happen. What is at stake is our ability to reach the goals set in the Europe 2020 Strategy through a secure, competitive and sustainable supply of energy to our economy and our society. "


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More: Benchmarking Reports


Commissioner Oettinger welcomes agreement on acceleration of gas interconnector between Bulgaria and Serbia

Last week the Minister for Economy, Energy and Tourism of the Republic of Bulgaria, Traycho Traykov, and the Minister of Mining and Energy of the Republic of Serbia, Petar Škundrić, signed in the presence of Director-General of DG Energy, Philip Lowe, a joint statement paving the way for the planned gas interconnector project between Bulgaria and Serbia. The Joint Statement is an expression of the commitment of both governments to the Serbia-Bulgaria gas pipeline. It outlines the concrete next steps of the project and invites the assistance of the European Commission and the International Financial Institutions in preparation of the project and related studies.


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More: European Neighbourhood Policy



Summary on Member States' renewable energy forecasts

According to their forecast documents, ten Member States expect to exceed their national targets for renewable energy, and five expect to need to use the Directive's cooperation mechanisms and reach their target by developing some renewable energy in another Member State or a third country. Whilst Member States expect to use the cooperation mechanisms for only a small amount of energy (around 2-3 Mtoe), the forecast total production of renewable energy would actually exceed the 20% target and reach 20.3%. A summary is included below.

In accordance with the Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/EC) all Member States have submitted documents giving their forecast of the expected use they will make of the cooperation mechanisms contained in the Directive.
The cooperation mechanisms include "statistical transfers" where Member State governments  can agree to exchange statistically a given quantity renewable energy produced. Another mechanism is the "joint project", where a specific new plant is identified and the output of the plant shared statistically between Member States. Joint projects concerning electricity production can also be established with third countries if a number of conditions are met, most importantly if the electricity is physically consumed in the EU. The intention behind the Directive's creation of these instruments is to allow Member States to achieve their targets in a cost effective manner, developing renewable energy sources wherever it is most efficient to do so.
The Commission has made the documents available to the public on its Transparency Platform.

Key findings from the reports are:
At least ten Member States expect to have a surplus in 2020 compared to their binding target for the share of renewable energy in their final energy consumption. This surplus could be available to transfer to another Member State. The quantity is estimated at around 5.5 Mtoe, or around 2% of the total renewables needed in 2020.

- Spain and Germany forecast the largest surpluses in absolute terms, with 2.7 Mtoe and 1.4 Mtoe respectively.
Five Member States expect to have a deficit in 2020 compared to their binding target for the share of renewable energy in their final energy consumption. These Member States thus require transfers from another Member State or third country, through the use of the Directive's cooperation mechanisms. The quantity amounts to around 2 Mtoe (<1% of the total renewable energy needed in 2020).
- Italy forecasts the largest deficit in absolute terms, of 1.2 Mtoe.
The net result of Member States' forecasts for 2020 renewable energy consumption is that the EU should exceed its 20% target by over 0.3 percentage points.
The comparatively small quantity of energy expected to be subject to the cooperation mechanisms reflects most Member States' ability to develop domestic resources cost effectively and their desire to reap the economic social and environmental benefits of developing renewable energy sources nationally. However it remains the case that the cooperation mechanisms created by the Directive are available should Member States wish to make further use of them and achieve their targets even more cost effectively.
A total of 13 Member States also expect to exceed the interim targets that result from the trajectory contained in the Directive and thus have a surplus in the years before 2020.

Three Member States anticipate a deficit during this period. Thus Member States may also use the cooperation mechanisms to meet their trajectory in the years before 2020. (It is worth recalling that the Directive requires Member States to plan to meet or exceed theirtrajectory).

Many Member States point out that these trajectories and targets require strong, new national energy efficiency and infrastructure measures.

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