Energy from renewable sources – solar thermal, solar PV, hydro – tide, wave and ocean, wind, geothermal and biomass – met 15% of the gross final consumption of energy in the EU in 2013, according to Eurostat, the EU's statistical office.
This compares with the 8.3% of energy consumption covered by renewables in 2004 – the first year for which such data is available. Since then, renewables have grown in all EU countries, with 13 having at least doubled their share of renewables over the last ten years.
With a share of 52.1% Sweden topped the table by far, followed by Latvia at 37.1%, Finland at 36.8% and Austria at 32.6%. By contrast, the countries lingering at the bottom of the table include Luxembourg with a share of 3.6%, Malta with 3.8%, the Netherlands with 4.5% and the UK with 5.1%.
By 2020 the EU must have a 20% share of renewable energy with each country having its own renewable energy target to meet the EU-wide goal. Some EU countries – Bulgaria, Estonia and Sweden – have already met their targets, while others – Lithuania, Romania and Italy – are less than 0.5% away from theirs. However, at the other end of the scale, the UK is 9.9% away from reaching its objective, the Netherlands is 9.5% away, France is 8.8% away and Ireland is 8.2% away.
In addition to the 20% renewables target, the EU also has a sub-target of reaching a 10% share of biofuels in transport. In 2013, Sweden was the only EU country to have reached its target, while Finland was nearly there. Most EU countries are around half way to achieving their 2020 objective.
With less than 1% of renewable energy in transport, Estonia – with 0.2% - Spain – with 0.4% - and Portugal – with 0.7% - are the EU countries furthest from the 10% target.