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EU Close to Renewable Energy Target

    EU Close to Renewable Energy Target

    The European Union will soon meet a renewable energy target as some of its members are within three percentage points of hitting their 2020 goal. The percentage points were released by the European Union’s statistics office. The European Union agreed to a 20 percent share of renewable energy on their grids by the year 2020.

    According to Eurostat, the record-keeping office for the statistics office, said that renewable energy hit 16.7 percent in 2015, the last full year that data was available. Statistics show that this number was double what it was back in 2004. Eurostat also reported that energy consumption in Europe was below its peak from the year 2006 by just over 11 percent. Close to 75 percent of the need was from fossil fuels.

    Sweden gets more than half of the country’s energy from low-carbon sources, while Luxembourg and Malta set the low benchmark for renewable energy. They have a share of five percent.

    In the 15-year period that ended in 2015, fossil fuels were the dominant source of energy, even though usage rates declined during that period. The economy in Europe was decoupling due to fossil fuels because of regional gross domestic product growing by 50 percent and emissions declining by 22 percent since the year 1990.

    The report from Eurostat stated the following: “Renewables will continue to play a key role in helping the EU meet its energy needs beyond 2020. For this reason, member states have already agreed on a new EU renewable energy target of at least 27 percent by 2030.”

    According to the report from Eurostat, 11 members of the European Union have already met their required levels for the year 2020. Those 11 countries include Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Croatia, Italy, Lithuania, Hungary, Romania, Finland, and Sweden. Austria and Slovakia are very close to hitting their required levels for 2020. At the other end of the spectrum you have the Netherlands, which is 8.2 percent from meeting required levels. France is 7.8 percentage points from hitting the goal and Ireland and the United Kingdom are still 6.8 percentage points from hitting the target in 2020.

    “The EU’s 2020 targets on energy and climate are now well within reach,” European Environment Agency executive director Hans Bruyninckx said.

    “But certain trends are alarming, in particular for transport. In that sector, renewable energy use remains insufficient and greenhouse gas emissions are rising again.”

    The European Union hopes to have gas emissions down by 80 percent by the year 2050. The agency stated that meeting the 2030 requirement would “require additional efforts because regulatory changes affect investors’ confidence in renewables, while market barriers persist.”

    Clean energy plans have been introduced by the European Union in the past year in an effort to “boost renewables, cut waste and reduce subsidies for coal power,” according to The Guardian.

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