The Directive 2009/28/EC on renewable energy, implemented by Member States by December 2010, sets ambitious targets for all Member States, such that the EU will reach a 20% share of energy from renewable sources by 2020 and a 10% share of renewable energy specifically in the transport sector.
It also improves the legal framework for promoting renewable electricity, requires national action plans that establish pathways for the development of renewable energy sources including bioenergy, creates cooperation mechanisms to help achieve the targets cost effectively and establishes the sustainability criteria for biofuels.
Notice: each of the reports has been submitted in the language of the respective Member State, which is the sole authentic version. Translations into the English language are being provided for information purposes only. The European Commission (EC) does not guarantee the accuracy of the data or information provided in these translations, nor does it accept responsibility for any use made thereof.
Increasing the share of renewables in the EU's energy mix poses important challenges for Europe's electricity infrastructure. A report written for the European Commission [5 MB] , released in June 2014, studied the cost of integrating large quantities of renewables – up to 70% of total generation – into the grid by comparing various scenarios. It found that total system costs are similar or slightly lower for scenarios with higher shares of renewable energy when compared to those with lower shares. While grid expansion costs were found to be significant, they are offset by the reduced need to purchase fossil fuels.
The report also assessed a number of possible measures to better integrate renewable energy. The most promising results came from demand response which was estimated to reduce system costs by up to €100 billion per year. The need for grid expansion and backup generation could also be reduced by a balanced geographical distribution of renewable energy production and the use of multiple kinds of renewable energy (i.e. wind, solar, hydro).