Every two years, EU countries report on their progress towards the EU's 2020 renewable energy goals. Based on the national reports and on other available data, the European Commission produces an EU-wide report which gives an overview of renewable energy policy developments in EU countries.
Key findings from the latest EU-wide report, published in 2017:
- In its final energy consumption, the EU as a whole achieved a 16% share of renewable energy in 2014 and an estimated 16.4% share in 2015.
- The vast majority of EU countries are well on track to reach their 2020 binding targets for renewable energy, but all countries will have to continue their efforts to meet these targets.
- The transport sector achieved a 6% share of renewable energy in 2015, so some EU countries will have to intensify their efforts to reach the 10% binding target for transport by 2020.
- Energy security: using more renewables resulted in a €16 billion saving in fossil fuel imports in 2015, and this is projected to rise to €58 billion in 2030.
- Market integration : cheaper technologies and new proposals under the Commission's 'Clean Energy for all Europeans' package will further enable renewables to participate in markets on an equal footing with other energy sources.
- Energy efficiency: renewable power could help reduce primary energy consumption and improve energy performance of buildings.
- Decarbonisation: in 2015, renewables contributed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of Italy's total emissions.
- Innovation: the EU has 30% of global patents in renewables, and is committed to prioritising research and innovation to further drive the energy transition.
In addition, the benefits of renewables also extend to:
- Economic growth and added value: the turnover of the renewables industry in 2014 was €144 billion.
- Sustainable jobs: in the EU, there were more than one million jobs in renewables in 2014.
- Improved air quality, through fuel switching to renewables in all sectors.
- International development: renewables can help developing countries gain access to affordable and clean energy.
Findings from the latest EU-wide report in 2015:
- 25 EU countries are expected to meet their 2013/2014 interim renewable energy targets
- In 2014, the projected share of renewable energy in the gross final energy consumption is 15.3%
- The EU's 2020 renewables target has resulted in around 326 Mt of avoided CO2 emissions in 2012, rising to 388 Mt in 2013
- It has also led to a reduction in the EU's demand for fossil fuels to the tune of 116 Mtoe (2013 figure)
- The 2014 projected share of renewable energy in transport is 5.7% meaning that achieving the target will be challenging but feasible, with some EU countries making good progress.
Progress reports – electricity
Every two years, EU countries also submit progress reports dealing specifically with the integration of renewables into their electricity sectors: